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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- "deduct your 10%" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a company representative scam. This type of job offer scam involves the cashing of fake checks and money orders. It could expose you to losses of tens of thousands of dollars as well as to the risk of criminal prosecution and (in some cases) imprisonment.
- 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: "REFRACONCOMPANY" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 15:29:19 +0800
Subject: REFRACON SDN. BHD.,
REFRACON SDN. BHD.,
Lot 35, Lorong 1B,
Kampung Baru Subang,
Seksyen U6, 40150 Shah
Alam, Kuala Lumpur
We are exporters base in Malaysia.We are major supplier of refractory, heat
and cold insulation materials. We export from Asia to Europe,America,Canada
and Australia.Our company was established in 1985
We need trustee agents in these regions /provinces for our business to
as it is now and that is the reason why i am contacting you now. We are
looking for male/female that are trustworthy to be in charge of receiving
cash on behalf of our company's in his/her country.
Please if you are interested in transacting business with us we will be very
glad. However, We will appreciate it, If you can furnish us with your full
names, address and telephone/fax numbers, for easier communication. We will
also appreciate it if you can furnish us also with your occupation.
Be informed that if you do not have the capacity to receive large funds in
account and also cannot manage these funds as we may instruct you from time
to time, then you need not bother getting back to us.
We have agreed to give you 10% commission for your assistance in this
transaction.Your commission may be deducted at source, that is as soon as
the funds are received in your account, you may deduct your 10% from it.
To facilitate and proceed if accepted, do send to us promptly via email at
Your prompt response will be greatly appreciated.