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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Joe Okafor" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 11:03:37 -0800
Subject: Did You Sent Him??
I am Mr. Joe Okafor (Assistance) Chairman from Efcc Investigation Office Nigeria, there is presently counter claims on your funds by one MR.DAVID JONHSON, who is presently trying to make us believe that you are dead and even explained that you entered into an agreement with him, to help you in receiving your fund.
HERE COMES THE BIG QUESTION
Did you sign any Deed of Assignment in favor of (DAVID JONHSON) thereby making him the current beneficiary with this following account details: MR DAVID JONHSON, AC/NUMBER: 6503809428. ROUTING/122006743, B/NAME: CITI BANK, ADDRESS: NEW YORK, USA.Note that we shall proceed to issue all payments details to MR DAVID JONHSON, if we do not hear from you within the next two working days from today.
You are advice to get back to us only on this e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We wait to hear from you.
Mr. Joe Okafor (Assistance) Chairman
>From Efcc Investigation Office Nigeria