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:
- "email@example.com" (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: "Andre Eagar"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2011 21:06:57 -0700
Subject: Message From Andre
I write, asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds to tuneof(US$39.4m) which we want kept safely overseas under your supervision.
The Funds were derived over time from a project awarded to a foreign firm by my Department, and presently the actual contract cost have been paid to the original project executors, leaving the balance in the tuneof the said amount which we have in principle obtained approval to remit overseas.
Kindly pardon the use of this medium, I work as a Director of Projects at The Department of Minerals & Energy here in Pretoria. I have the authority and approval of my partners involved in this transaction to negotiate a suitable compensation for your participation.
This endeavor has minimal risk factor on your part; you are advised to reach me through my private email address-:email@example.com
Kindly notify me, your secured Telephone and fax number for further details and also for me to call you.
I wait to hear from you.
Mr. Andre Eagar.