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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:30:58 +0530
Subject: GOOD DAY SIR/MA
I am Mr. Hart Coleman an employee of (Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company) here in UK. I am the secretary to the Director of our Company, we are looking for an individuals/Companies
who can handle the Supply of the Herbal Products which is used in the making of Animal Drug's all over the World. Presently, our Company Purchases from a Supplier in Kenya but
recent research conducted showed that the Product is in India as well. Recently, i confidentially got a contact of a Seller in India and i came to know that this Product can be
Purchased at the Rate of US$70 from India and Supplied at the rate of US$180 to our Company in UK.
I have the Contact of the Producers from India and our Company Purchases a minimum of 1,000 Sachets and a Maximum of 10,000 in a single transaction. If you can invest in the
Purchase of this Product from the local producers in India through our representative and then Supply to us in the United Kingdom. However, i will forward to you the contact details
of the local producer upon the receipt of your positive response.
I am anxiously waiting for your urgent reply.
Cornelius Dionysus Maria.
(Group Purchase/Supply Department).