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:
- 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.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Alastair Davis" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 17:08:12 +0100
Subject: Happy New Year
1-2 St Andrew Square
Warm greeting to you my Dear,I feel obliged writing this mail to you. I'm establishing direct communication with you soliciting for your assistance and co-operation in this business transaction. I am Mr.Alastair Davis, The Chief finance officer of Scottish Investment Trust PLC.
Scottish Investment is the World Largest Fund Management Company with over £1.2Trillion Capital Investment Fund. Nevertheless, as The Chief finance officer, I handled all our Investor's Direct Capital Funds and secretly extracted 1.2% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit per annum on each of the Investor's Marginal Capital Fund. As an expert, I have made over £21,745,000.00 from the Investor's Marginal Capital Fund and hereby looking for someone to trust who will stand as an Investor to receive the fund as Annual Investment Proceeds from Scottish Investment Marginal Capital Fund. All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you prior to your acceptance. Meanwhile, I have worked out the modalities and technicalities whereby the funds can be claimed by any foreigner who have the correct details of the said fund without any hitches. Our sharing ratio will be 60-40 .
Please send me your direct phone number for an initial confidential communication or
get back to me through email email@example.com
Chief finance officer
Scottish Investment Trust PLC (SIT)