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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: Anuge Martins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 15:01:27 +0800
Subject: ATTEN: Dear,
I am Mr. Anuge Martins the General Audit Manager, Accounts Department in
our bank. I have the opportunity of transferring the sum of ($15.350
million USD). This fund originally belonged to one of our bank Customer who
died in the year 2003. My request for foreigner to stand as next of kin in
this business is because the fact that the customer is a foreigner. Based
on the fact that this is a deal, I propose that 50% of this fund is for
you, and 50% is for me. I will give more detail of the transfer process as
soon as you show your interest in this transaction.
Please note that there will be no problem as my bank has made all effort
through to reach for any of his relation but all was fruitless. My position
as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful execution of
this (deal) transaction. This money will be shared on agreed percentage
which must be written in the agreement of personal trusteeship, once the
fund is transferred to your account in your country or anywhere else. If
not interested please destroy the mail because of the confidentiality
attached to it.
I promise that this transaction will be done under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect both of us from any breach of the law. please send to us
direct email at email@example.com
If you are interested and wish to assist me please feel free to contact
immediately at and send the following
1) Your full name...
5) Passport or photo...
7) Personal Mobile number...
8) Personal fax number...
9) Home & office address...