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:
- 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.
- 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: SENATE HOUSE COMMITTEE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 11:04:48 +0000
Subject: Final payment decision
Final payment decision was taken after much deliberation on your contract case file in this committee few days ago, From Nigeria code of conduct as stated in contract decree of 1979 as amended by the contract law of 1989 section 1999, edict 244, paragraph 14, sub section 55 as a criminal offence to any one dealing unlawfully with unauthorized FUND transfer.
In view of this development every unpaid contractor has been instructed to receive there payment in this country without paying any fee. We are contacting you to furnish this office with the following contact information.
(1) Your contract expected amount $...........
(2) Your international Passport
(3) You cell phone number
(4) Your email
Immediately we receive the listed information, your contract case file will be endorsed for payment without any fees, all related fees, charges and taxation will be paid immediately you commence the first withdrawal from your credited account. Get back to this committee immediately you have access to this mail.