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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: Heather Ross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 11:00:08 +0000
Subject: Re: From Heather Ross
My name is Heather Ross, Assistant Station Manager, Tikrit-American Red Cross
working here in Iraq with the military. With a desperate need for
have summed up courage to contact you. I am seeking your kind
assistance to move
the sum of $4.8million (Four Million Eight hundred thousand United States
Dollars) to you as far as I can be assured that the money will be used for
charity and humanitarian purposes as strictly requested by the owner.
Source of money: The money belonged to Cpl. Dustin R. Brisky, 26, of
Texas, died June 4 in Tallil, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an
explosion. He was
assigned to the Army Reserves 952nd Engineer Company, Paris,
Texas. The unit
was attached to the 92nd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd
Infantry Division, and Fort Stewart, Ga. This money was part of his share from
the money they discovered in barrels at a farmhouse near one of Saddam's old
palaces in Tikrit, Iraq during a rescue operation. You can go to this web link
to read about events that took place then via this site:
He was hoping to move the money out of Iraq before he died. I was attending to
him when he confided in me and told me about the money. His last wish
was that I
should help him make arrangement to move the money out of Iraq and
you to receive it so that you can use it to help the less privileged and other
charitable activities that will uplift and profit humanity and mankind.
With the help of a British contact working here, whose office enjoys
was able to get the package out of Iraq to the United Kingdom where it
safe. Now the British contact does not know the real contents of the package.
She believes that they are personal valued properties of the late
who trusted me to hand over the package to his family before he died.
Now I have
just found a very secured way of delivering this package to you without any
problems. Now that I have agreed to do this with you, I will want you to keep
it highly confidential between both of us and I have decided to split
this way, 50% goes to the charity organization and less privilege, 20%
20% for me while 10% have been mapped out for expenses inquired during the
process of delivery of the consignment to you. I will discuss this
with you when
I receive your response to this mail assuring me of your willingness and
capability to handle
this safely and disburse the money as instructed by the late Dustin Brisky.
Please I want you to keep this matter absolutely confidential as any
this information will be too bad for those of us serving in Iraq. I do
how long we will still be here in Iraq, but whatever happens, I will be in
constant touch with you. Remain blessed as I await your urgent
response to this
mail. Please do send your response to my safe email account:(
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