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:
- "trunk box" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Olusegun Aganga"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:38:28 +0100
Subject: :SPAM: Final Payment
I know you have been in so many wrong hands and this has really brought so much doubt in your mind. The procedure of this payment is what we have planned and sort advice so that you will not have any issue to worry about.
The Federal government is paying you through cash payment which will be sent to the nearest Nigeria Embassy within your location. The money is stacked in a diplomatic trunk box which is money recovered from some government officials that stole government money. The keys of the trunk will be sent to you.
The reason for sending the keys to you is to make sure there is no wrong payment or suspicious motive. There is no issue of you paying customs, all you need do is to go to Nigeria Embassy in your country and present your identification and the box will be released to you.
We are sending the keys to you through FedEx or DHL, we are not asking you for any up front payment, rather are asking you to send to us your FedEx or DHL account to send the keys to you. If you dont have any account with these courier companies, kindly go their office and open an account with them and send the account details to me which will be used to send the keys to you. As soon as you get the keys, we will arrange for the shipment of your fund in a diplomatic trunk box directly to our embassy in your country.
So confirm the courier account details and your address.
Dr. Olusegun Aganga