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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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 Angela Campbell" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs Angela Campbell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:26:48 +0100
Subject: Your Services Is Urgently Needed Please
I am glad to be in contact with you now after making several effort to
contact you through my country's Chamber Of
First of all my name is Mrs Angela Campbell from Zimbabwe. I am a mother
of two and wife of late Mr Mike Campbell a
well known farmer and diamond merchant in Zimbabwe. My husband died of
hearth attack after the seizure of all his life
times investment which includes his farmland in Zimbabwe by President
Robert Mugabe. I am contacting you
today as my last resort to protect my children future before it is too
late. Base on this, the services I need from you is to
help me and my children relocate to your country and help us to invest,
stablise and continue our lives there since my
lates husband before he died was able to move a huge amount of money to a
bank outside Zimbabwe and
instructed the bank to blocked it pending when his business partner will
contact them for onward transfer of the fund to
his country for investment.
Thus, now that my husband is late and we are left with nothing, I have
approached the bank manager for the release of
the fund and the bank manager said I should advise my late husband's
partner to come forward by contacting them to
enable them release the fund to him and as well transfer as instructed by
my late husband for immediate investment.
So, I am contacting you to join hands with me to have this fund
transferred to your country as I will want introduce you to
the bank as my late husband partner to enable the bank release and
transfer the fund to your account while you take
your percentage/compensation as we may agree and then invest part of the
balance in any good business you may feel
ok for me and my children and also use part of the fund to buy a house in
your country so we can have a place to live
when we arrive.
I will in my next email to you send you copy of my passport and national
id including the certificate of deposit as issued by
the bank when my late husband deposited the fund with them for your
verification and immediate action.
Please my english is not too good as I am old and have a bad sight which
makes it impossible for me to see the
computer key board very well.
Kindly reply to this email today through this email address:
email@example.com as I am anxiously waiting
for your response.
Thanks and God Bless You
Mrs Angela Campbell