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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS SUZANNE MUBARAK" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2013 01:03:29 +0700
Subject: FROM SUZANNE MUBARAK
I am Mrs. Susanne the wife of the Former Leader in Egypt Hosni Mubarak. You may aware that my husband is presently facing retrial in Egypt and we his family members are not free. All our documents and Money has been seized to prevent us from traveling out of the country.
I need somebody from outside my country who I can transfer my funds to. For the future of my children, The Amount is US$50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million United States Dollars).You can imagine the government had seized my family up keeping assets in Egypt, Please if you are capable to receive and handle the $50,000,000.00 USD keep me posted urgently.
I want you to indicate your interest and provide the basic information to me as follow. Your Full name, Address, Age, and cell phone number. So that I will forward them to my accounting officer in the bank out side my country Egypt immediately to verify your capability and transfer the fund to you for business purpose and for safe keeping for the future of my children, I need your honesty and trust, if you will be good to me I will entrust more funds on your care, and we will negotiate on the percentage that I will offer you of the total funds. I waite your respond.
Mrs. Susanne Hosni Mubarak