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:
- 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:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Duke Justin" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 00:00:45 +0200
Subject: URGENT ASSISTANCE
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am glad to take the chance to introduce my self to you,
I am Duke Justin 22 years old from South Sudan, I would
like to invest in your company/country but I don't know
if you will be able to help/assist me. This is my reason
of contacting you to know if you will be able to assist me.
I have $25 Million United States Dollars to invest in any
profitable business in your company/country. This funds
is right now in a security volt in Europe. If you have
interest in this business/transaction please, let me know
so that I will furnish you with the full details.
Thanks for taking the time to read my mail, awaiting your
positive response showing interest in investing in your
company. send me mail at firstname.lastname@example.org