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 pounds" (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)
- "million british pounds" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045711066 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447024041615 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Mr. Jeong Dong" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 02:23:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: I need a partner who will invest with me.
I need a partner who will invest with me. I am Mr. Jeong Dong citizen of South Korea. But I'm right now in United Kingdom due to the present economic crises affecting foreign investors in Uk. I decided to relocate to your country. I got your contacts through my personal research and out of desperation. I deal on crude oil I decided to reach you through this medium.
I have 20 million British Pounds for investment purpose. I want you to receive this fund on my behalf and invest on a profitable business venture on an agreed terms. If you are interested I will offer you 40% of 20 million British Pounds which is 8 million pounds, please get back to me with the following details.
1. A Beneficiary name and mailing address, in order for me to prepare the document for transfer of the funds in your name.
2. Direct Telephone.
3. Age and occupation.
Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details.
NOTE: KEEP THE BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL AND REPLY TO email@example.com
Call me on +44 704 571 1066
Mr. Jeong Dong
London United Kingdom
Tel: +44 702 404 1615