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.
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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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Rufus Eduardo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 04:43:42 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Uregnt Respond
My name is Rufus Eduardo son of Late Dr. Tavares Eduardo Sr. former personal assistant on financial matters to the Angolan President. I got your contact through the internet and decided to write you in trust and confidence. It is my humble decision to solicit for your understanding and cooperation in this business that will be mutually beneficial to both of us.
At the midterm of the rebellion which is still on till date, my father thinking fast decided to send my brother and I out of the country (Angola),with the sum of US$18 Million (Eighteen million United States Dollars only). The bills were carefully moved as diplomatic baggage to Madrid, Spain.
Unfortunately, because of my fatherâs political influence he was assassinated last December. And as a result of our father's death, we decided not to return to the country but seek for political asylum and look for an opportunity to safeguard the money for proper investment and prepare for our future. We however, discovered that as political asylum seekers, we are not allowed by law to seek for any gainful employment or open and operate a bank account.
We therefore need your assistance and co-operation in concluding this deal. You are needed to come over to Madrid, Spain to open a non-resident account where the funds will be deposited and subsequently transfer the funds to your nominated account via telegraphic transfer.
The whole arrangement will be strictly under our supervision and the transaction will be absolutely risked-free. And the transfer to your account would be completed the same day.
We intend to share the money upon successful completion of the transaction as follows: - 22% will be entitled to you for your assistance, while 76% will be for us and 2% will be set aside to take care of expenses.
Should this meet your utmost consideration, kindly write back immediately to confirm your earliest date of arrival? Please include your contact number.
The confidentiality of this transaction cannot be over emphasized as we trust and believe that you will oblige us the security and attention it demands.
Mr. Rufus Eduardo
Email : email@example.com