fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.George Goodluck," <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 02:20:02 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: FOR BUSINESS PARTNER !!
Hello My Dear,
My Name is Mr.George Goodluck, the Presently Chief Aduitor, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Main Branch here in London. On a routine inspection i discovered a dormant account with a Balance of (£20,000,000.00).Twenty Miliion Pounds Sterlings, On Further investigation, i also discovered that the account holder is Mr. John Shumejda, an American Citizen, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Agco, the Global Agricultural Equipment Manufacturer, he died in Plane crash at Birmingham Airport on 4th Jan, 2002.
He died leaving no beneficiary to the account, and the bank will approve this money to any foreigner who have information about this account which i will give to you. because the former operator of this account is a foreigner from florida in American and i am certainly sure that he is dead and nobody will come to claim this money again.Therefore i need your full cooperation in this transaction, i will provide all the necessary information needed in order to claim this money, I want to assured you that this transfer is 100% risk free.
You will have 40% Share of the money, for your corporation and assistance while 60% will be for me there after i and my family will visit your country for investement, so If you are Interested reply me through My private email. (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more details about this transaction.
I am Looking Forward to hear from you.