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:
- 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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Mr.aliyu Musa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 16:30:31 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: From;Mr.Aliyu Musa Reply Please.
My name is Aliyu Musa I am the regional manager of Standard Chartered bank of Ghana Tarkwa branch in the western region of Ghana. I got your information when i was searching for an oversea partner among other names. I write you this proposal in good faith; I am 51 years old married with three lovely kids.
I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit you and I, as the regional manager of the Standard Chartered bank it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city Accra at the end of each business year. On the course of the last year 2010 business report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made seven million five hundred united state dollars (7.500m)usd.
There are practically no risks involved, it will be a bank-to-bank transfer, and all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of these funds who made the deposit with my branch so that my head office can order he transfer to your designated bank account.
If you accept to work with me I will appreciate it very much. email me with the above email address so that we can go over the details and i will give you my full information's.Remember there is no risk involved i promise.
Thank you in advance and May God bless you and your family.Reply to my private email(email@example.com)