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:
- 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 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kelly Alberto"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 19:49:28 -0800
Subject: Please Read Carefully & Get Back To Me.
I am a retired border agent living in Mexico. I took early retirement to
get out of what I now see is a losing proposition. The Drug War
Most all agents that I worked with for nearly 20 years are dirty,
I just could not do it anymore.
Last month a big player in the Michoacan narco group known as la Familia
was shot and killed by Mexican authorities. His name was Nazario Moreno Gonzalez.
It was all over the news. It is Familia policy to carry off their dead whenever possible.
So the authorities didn't have the body to confirm his death positively. He had many many
captains in his crew and though most were loyal, some were not.
There is money stashed in banks all over Mexico. Which is why I am writing to you today.
I retired because so many agents were dirty. But often dirty out of necessity, not choice.
The Mexican narcos are a rough bunch and if you don't cooperate and go on the payroll they
make your life hell or make you gone. Due to that work and close ties with many Mexicans
I was involved romantically with a man who had business connections to la Familia.
Not the dealing and transport end. Even thugs needs lawyers and accountants.
We had moved down here together when I retired. His plan was to retire as well,
And that seemed to be happening until back in December. He kept taking short trips.
Only a day or 2, always saying he was wrapping up loose ends. He was done, wanted out,
But the last trip he went on he never returned from.
His name was Jaime Basaldua. He was also from Michoacan and was killed the same night as Nazario.
Jaimes body was also carried off by the family that day. About a week later it was returned to his
family here. That was how I came to know for certain that him and Nazario were really gone.
Jaime had $25 million Dollars in a bank account here. I am the co-signator. I have been waiting
and watching the account. The money just sits there. Jaime told me that no one knew about the money
and I now believe it. This was money that he had been skimming. If it was Familia money that Jaime
had been charged with stashing it would be long gone by now. That much is certain.
I needed to transfer this money out of Mexico. A withdrawl of that amount of money or several
large cash withdrawls by a non-national would raise eyebrows. Even if I did it over the course
of a year. People notice cash. A wire transfer would not get attention. Billions are moved between
Mexico and the States every year that way. I need a safe place to transfer it to over there and am
looking for someone to help me do this. I will split it with you.
The only other people on earth who could have known about this money are dead.
I am positive that the local bank here has not made the connection because Jaime's name
is a common one and unless someone directly alerted the bank to his passing no one can
possibly know. And the Mexican government certainly doesn't know or that money would be long gone.
Having been seized as spoils. The spoils laws here are harsh and people subjected to them often do
not know it is coming. And that is further evidenced by no holds on the account.
I want to transfer it out of here as quickly as possible, then return to the States.
With Jaime gone I have no reason to stay here. But I do not want to leave without the money.
I am only willing to do it because I am now positive that NO ONE knows about it. So, there really
is no risk anymore. The only people who could have known about the money, besides me, are dead.
Let me know if you would like to help.