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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "DR.EMMANUEL SAM" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:24:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: YOUR URGENT CONFIRMATION IS NEEDED FROM YOU
YOUR URGENT CONFIRMATION IS NEEDED FROM YOU
Please, pardon me for not
having the pleasure of knowing your mind before this offer as it is utterly
confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I write to solicit your
assistance in a fund transfer deal involving US$5.5M.This fund has been stashed
out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of which I am the
I have already submitted an approved end of the year report
for the year 2010 to my head
office here in Accra-Ghana and they will never know of this excess. I
have since then, placed this amount on a Sundry Escrow Account without a
Upon your response, I will configure your name on our
database as holder of the Sundry Escrow Account. I will also guide you on how to
contact an Attorney who will help us obtain documents from court and submit it
to our head office for the Account Closure/ bank-to-bank remittance of the fund
to your designated bank account; this is to say that service of an attorney will
If you concur with this proposal, kindly get back to me, I intend
for you to retain 40% of the fund.
I await your