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.
- 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- assistance quietly, please write back by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and provide me with your confidential telephone number, (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Yuri Mikov" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 13:21:35 -0700
Subject: Please read and get back
I am Mr. Abram Karitonov, I represent a top company executive in Russia. I have a very sensitive and private brief from this top executive to ask for your partnership to re-profile funds over 52,274,665.42 Million. I will give the details, but in summary, the fund is from a holding bank in Russia where we have a considerable stake.
Presently we have established a profiling channel through our corresponding bank in Western Europe. We need to present you/your company as a management consultant to undertake and complete this re-profiling job. This is a legitimate transaction. I propose that you will be paid 8% of this fund for your proposed "management consultation invoiced charges", for your assistance to re-profile this funds appropriately, if I am able to reach terms with you. Your information was given to me by a Russian friend who has benefited from the favorable investment climate in the United kingdom, especially in renowned football clubs which we also have our eyes on.
If you are willing to render this assistance quietly, please write back by email: email@example.com and provide me with your confidential telephone number, email address and corporate profile and I will provide further details.
Please keep this close to your chest as much as possible; we can not afford any political problems with Moscow. Whatever your decision, Write me back. I look forward to it.