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:
- "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.
- 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: "Kwesi Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 19:06:38 -0000
Subject: YOUR MONEY IS SENT TO YOU
I am Samson Kwesi from ICB. Please don't be suprised that am seeking your help in order to receive the sum of 9 Million US dollars as a result of surplus
profit we made last year.I have a few options like moving the money to CITI BANK OF NEW YORK and you furnish them with your bank detaills to remit the sum
into your bank account, other options abound . so please let me know
If you will be so kind to accept my offer,fully, I will be glad to give you more details.I am ready to offer you 30% of the total amount for your efforts. If
interested please respond to: email@example.com with your details such as Account name:
YOur full name
Position in Company
Country of Origin
Country of residence
Your phone number:
Your Fax number:
Your MOBILE NUMBER:
and if possible a scan copy of your ID.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONFIRM TO ME WITH A PHONE CALL THAT YOU ACCEPT MY OFFER.
CALL ME ON +233272301117
Samson Kwesi Williams.