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.
- 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: Mrs.Apollonia Poillne <Newsletters.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 1 Apr 2013 20:10:45 -0400
Subject: Dear Beloved
I am Mrs. Apollonian Poillne from Paris France, the only child and Daughter to late Mr. Lionel Poil?ne an entrepreneur whose commitment to crafting quality bread earned him prestige throughout the world, who died on air crash on a vacation to the Brittany, On October 31, 2002, an helicopter crashed into the Bay of Cancale off the coast of Brittany.
Here are the details.
When my father was alive, he deposited $14.400, 000.00 USD with a bank in Singapore which he intended to use for a charity project. And the bank wrote me two weeks ago to come and claim this money as the next of kin or give an authority letter to someone who can do it for me. I can't do this myself because I am presently in a hospital where I've been taking treatment for cancer of the chest for the past 10 months now. My doctors have told me that I have only few weeks to live thats why I decided to use this fund for charity work. I have no family who can do this for me, so I decided to look for a sincere person who can use 80% of the fund to run the charity. As soon as you respond, I will give you the contact details of my late father lawyer in order to get all the necessary paper work for you to forward to the bank.
I look forward to hear from you.
Mrs. Apollonia Poillne
Email Address: email@example.com