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)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Ijeh Oji" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 13:58:23 +0100
Subject: PLEASE HELP ME
GREETING TO YOU
I will like to apologize for sending you this mail without seeking your permission. My name is Miss Ieh Oji and Im 25yrs old a Sudanese citizen.
I am not completely educated I stop schooling a year ago after I completed my SSS level, though I am still interested in completing my education, I am not educated I can try to make you understand the reason why I am seeking your help to help me complete my education.
I was born into a wealthy family, and things have been going on well (even though my father had divorced my mother for the best reason) until last year October when my father dead a shocking death. Ever still I have been finding it hard to survive on my own, but I still get some little assistance from my fathers family member.
My purpose of contacting you is to seek your help I found some documents in our house showing that my late father kept 550 Kilos of raw Gold in a Security company vault
I have gone to the Security Company on several occasions but they wouldnt give me attention, because they keep repeating that I am too young to forward any claim.
Though what they say is true, but last week I was made to understand by a the security company lawyer and he told me that the Security company is trying to steal my right from me, meaning that I might loss this the gold if I dont get help soon that I have provide my foreign investor /trustee who will help me to invest the gold fund. And as soon as I provide this person to the security company them will release the inheritance gold to the investor.
I cant trust any of my family members, because with a clear look from their relationship with my father when he was alive, they have always jealous his success.
I am writing to you, because I want you to help me, so that we can get this Gold out of Africa, to start another life entirely in your country. Please if I can trust in your sincerity and honesty to help me, I will give you 30% of the total Gold value, including any expenses you made during the cause of your help.
Please only contact me on my private email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be expecting to hear from you.
Miss. Ijeh Oji