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:
- ",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)
- 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: "Richard Yat Sun Tang" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 06:36:05 +0700 (ICT)
I am Mr. Richard Yat Sun Tang director of operations of Hang Seng Bank
Ltd.A Client named Major Fadi Basem who was with the Iraqi force made a
fixed deposit valued at $24,500.000.00 with us.Upon maturity several
notice was sent to him after the war but no response came from him.We
discovered that the Major and his family had been killed during the
war.Major Fadi Basem did not state any next of kin in his official papers
and the reason for that still surprises me till today.I have
$24,500,000,00 in my possession which I want you as a foreigner to claim
for our disbursement.
I have planned out everything for the success of this transfer.My attorney
will prepare the necessary document that will back you up as the next of
kin to him,he will also file in for claims on your behalf and secure the
necessary approval and letter of probate for the move of the funds to an
account that will be provided by you.There is no risk involve at all in
the matter as we are going to adopt a legalized method.You are to keep
this completely confidential.We are to share in the ratio of 65% for
me,30% for you and 5% will be use to pay back any partner at the ending of
the transfer for any money spent in the process of the transfer.If
interested please send me your full names and current residential address
and get back to me on this email(firstname.lastname@example.org)for more
Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated
Mr. Richard Yat Sun Tang