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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Mr. Charles Miller" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:49:44 +1000
Subject: THIS MAIL IS FROM UNITED NATION
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? You may not
understand why this email came to you. We have been having a meeting for
the passed(SIC) past 7 months which ended 2 days ago, with the then Secretary General, to the
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the
world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of
USD $850,000.00 (Eight hundred and fifty thousand United State(SIC) Dollars Only),
This also includes every foreign contractor, that may have not received
their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or
international businesses, that failed due to Government problems etc.
We found your name in our list, and that is why we are contacting you, this
has been agreed upon and has been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. Charles Miller of SPRING TRUST BANK PLC,
as he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your
payment of USD$850,000 (Eight hundred and fifty thousand United States
Dollars, Only) & which way you need the fund to be delivered. So he will send
it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
You are advised to get in contact with. Mr. Charles Miller and provide
him with below information
Person to Contact Rev. Mr. Charles Miller
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Fund.
Making the world a better place.
Mr. Charles Miller