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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Benito Cuma" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 01:09:31 +0100
Subject: From Benito Cuma
Please I want you to read this letter very carefully and I must apologize for barging this message into your mail box without any formal introduction due to the urgency the deal demands. I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. But please this is not a joke and I will not like you to joke with it as well.
Im Benito Cuma, Cape Verdean by nationality. I have a transaction involved transferring of fund. I want you to stand beneficiary. Sincerely this is not fallacy, and it requires a perfect arrangement. Upon the receipt of your reply and indication of your capability, I will give you full details on how the business will be executed/I will provide what is needed, precisely the full information if you indicate your humble interest, besides I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum.
Let me hear from you only in my private email box (email@example.com)