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:
- 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)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "BARBARA JETER" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 13:39:31 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION FOR CHARITY.
Attention for Charity,
My name is Barbara S. Jeter a crude oil dealer I am 66 yrs
of age from United States. I have been diagnosed with
esophageal cancer and have been in the hospital in England.
The illness has defied all forms of Medical treatment, and
right now I have about few months to live, according to the
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never
really cared for anyone (not even myself) but my business
and wealth. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I
was always hostile to people and only focused on my business
as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all
this as I now know that there is more to life than just
wanting to have or make all the money in the world.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard
because of my health. I have decided to give alms to charity
organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good
deeds I do on this planet earth before any thing could
happen. So far, I have distributed money to some charity
organizations hear in England, Algeria, Malaysia and also
the Tsunami victims. Now that my health has deteriorated so
badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members
of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the
money which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria
and Pakistan; they refused and kept the money to them
selves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not
to be contended with what I have left for them.
The last of my money which no one knows of, is this huge
cash deposit Of Eight Million United States dollars
($8.000.000) that I have with a Finance and Trust Company in
Europe. I would want you to help me Collect this deposit and
distribute it to charity organizations in your country. I
would want you to keep 20% of the funds to yourself and
dispatch the rest to charity organizations.
Please reply this mail as soon as possible even if you
cannot handle this transaction on my behalf.
Barbara S. Jeter