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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MRS.MUBARAK SUZANNE <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2013 12:13:08 +0300
Subject: CAN YOU HELP ME TO GET A HOME I CAN BUY?2/4/2013
Forgive this unusual manner of contacting you,but this particular letter is of exceptional and very private nature.
There is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many miscreants have taken possession of the Internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine people to get attention.
My name is Suzanne Mubarak, I am resident in Cairo the capital city of Egypt.I am the wife to the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.I am a 71 years old woman and i am a devouted Muslim.
Sequel to the conviction and sentence of my husband and my two sons on the 2nd of June 2012 by an Egyptian court, I and my grand children and daughter's inlaw have been living in fear. I am afraid that the hit might soon turn on us (his immediate relatives) if we don't make haste to relocate out of this place.
To this end, I therefore urgently want to acquire a property (HOUSE) as i wish to relocate out of this country for safety and also to start a new life before this present turn around of event affects the future of my grand children and I. My choice of property are duplex houses with about four or five bedrooms in a very peaceful and quiet city. The prices of which I expect to range between USD$800,000.00 to USD$2,500,000,00.
The mode of payment will not be a problem for I am paying you cash. PLEASE CAN I TRUST AND CONFIDE IN YOU? The present state of things in my country and the present happenings concerning my husband has taken a different toll as many people are still being killed silently and i do not think my grand children and i are safe here. Due to security reasons, I will not be able to call you and you can not call me too as our telephone lines are being bugged. Please contact me as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make sure you reply me through my alternative email address email@example.com because if you reply me through this email address I used to send you this mail,I will possibly not receive your mail.This instruction is very important please.
CAN YOU HELP ME TO GET A HOME I CAN BUY?