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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Mrs Vivian Anthony." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2010 01:23:17 -0700
Subject: Your International Cashier Bank Draft Worth Ten Million Usd,
My Dear Friend,
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds
transferred under the co-operation of a new partner from Paraguay.Although
you might find it difficult to remember me, since it has indeed been a
very long time.
However, I am much elated and privileged to contact you again after this
long time. While it takes faith and courage to remember old friends and at
the same time, to show gratitude to them inspite of circumstances that may
have disrupted our transaction ultimately not to work out as we projected.
Nevertheless, I take this liberty to inform you that, the transaction we
were pursuing then together, finally worked out by the infinite mercy of
GOD Almighty and I've decided to contact you,just to let you know the
I must inform you also that I am presently in Paraguay for business
negotiations and establishment, and, with a sincere heart, I have raised
and signed an International Cashier's Bank Draft, to the tune of
US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars) in your name as
COMPENSATION for your dedication and humane contribution as it were. I
will be very busy here at the moment because of the investment projects
that me and my new partners are having at hand.
Do not also accept any fax or telephone calls that do not come from my
secretary. He is the only person I instructed and directed on how to
deliver the draft to you.
Therefore, I implore you to contact him immediately you read this message
for further information on how to receive your draft, for I have
conscience as a human being, and I really appreciated your tremendious
effort and contribution made to make things work out but which we couldn't
complete due to circumstances beyond our control.
In view of this, you are to contact my secretary in the person of
Mr.Paul Roland. find below his contact.
Contact person : Dr.Justice Christopher
Contact Phone number: +234-803-188-4137
Note: He is waiting to hear from you so that he can ship the ICBD to your
residence/office address as you may instruct him to.
Take note and bear in mind that the International Cashier Bank Draft has a
validity period of 64 banking days, as such it is expedient you contact
him and thus have modality put in place to conclude this arrangement in
the earliest possible time.
Mrs Vivian Anthony.
CEO FINANCE HOUSE.