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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Stuart Gulliver" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 06:09:10 -0500
Subject: Private Confidential/Business Proposal
I am Mr. Stuart Gulliver, GBS, JP chief executive Chairman of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
i have a business proposal of Twenty Two million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only for you to
transact with me from my bank to your country.Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you hoping
that you will find this proposal interesting. Please on your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest.
All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you prior to your acceptance and as soon as I receive your return mail Via my email contact: (email@example.com) and I will let you know what is required of you, your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.
Endeavour to let me know your decision rather than keep me waiting.
Mr. Stuart Gulliver