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:
- 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:
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "P J T" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 16:57:38 +0100
Subject: PLEASE READ AND GET BACK TO ME+
Dear Esteemed Friend,
I have sent you this mail because of the need to open discussions with you. I don't want you to misunderstand this offer in any aspect, if it is okay with you I ask for your full cooperation.
I am Mr. Patrick. I wish to invest in a stable economy; my interest is in investment areas with potentials for rapid growth in long Terms. If your country's law allows foreign investors, I have cash of Over Twenty Million US Dollars and I am ready to invest part of it with you as my partner, Pending when both of us agrees on a particular terms. I hope that I can Trust you with the above amount.
Please, get back to me with if you are capable of handling the above amount for the purpose of investments. I want you to note that this is not a humanitarian business venture as there is a lot of money to be made by all parties that are involved in this transaction and for this all parties must participate financially and otherwise to make this transaction a smooth one.