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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "huge deposit" (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 next of kin 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.
- +447045792261 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Ambassador Philip Sinkinson <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 01:13:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: WEALTH TRANSFER.
I am Philip Sinkinson, the Credit manager of Colonial Finance London United Kingdom.
I have a proposal to discuss about a late family members fixed account in the bank.
Colonial Finance is currently in possession of an amount of £33,000,000.00 GBP belonging to a deceased customer whose name is not stated in this mail due to our Bank's privacy policies which protects the safety of our client's information.
Our contact to you is based on the fact that our search revealed your last name is the same with that of the Deceased.
Our records for this huge deposit showed no beneficiary as at the time of death of the depositor.
In view of this and my position as the head of payment of benefits to beneficiaries, your last name can be accepted for a relative/beneficiary to this huge amount of money.
Further details will be sent to you on this as soon as you signify your interest by sending to me immediately your full name as it is in your driver's license or international passport, your mobile telephone number, your fax number (if confidential) and your present contact address all needed for the legal documentation of this claim.