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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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: "Rev. David Johnson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: < email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 13:33:29 -0800
Subject: Your bank draft is ready (Its reward time) Contact my secretary
JOHNSON ENGINEERING COMPANY,
26, V-Island Road,
I am Rev.David Johnson from Canada, I have been an international
contractor that collects contract from Big Companies and countries, I got
involved in one contract in Nigeria which my payment was refused, I was
down and almost lose hope. After 2 years of this contract I later talked
to God to assist me in getting this money.
I made a vow to benefit someone with the sum of $900,000.00 draft payment
if my payment could be approved and to my surprise I was called upon by
the Nigeria Government sometimes last month that my contract file have
been looked into and it is ready for payment.I never believed it until I
was advised by my Pastor and later moved down to Nigeria and to my
unbelievable surprise I was paid this money.
Due to my pledge to God I have agreed to show the person that i will be
sending the $900,000.00 through ballot system on the internet which
happened to be your email so you are lucky.
What you have to do now is to get in touch with my secretary Mr Robert Dennis
and instruct him on how to send your $900,000.00 Bank draft to
you. BELOW IS THE CONTACT OF MY SECRETARY
Mr Robert Dennis
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Number: +234-802-402-1152
Send to my secretary your contact address and telephone number,let him
make arrangement for the shipment of your draft to your doorstep and also
you can give him a call to confirm your address.What I want you to believe
now is that this is the opportunity which God have promised you this year
so it is better you have it in time before it goes again from you so
contact my secretary in time.And for your information presently i am in
the United Kingdom for another contract so i want you to go into prayer
with me for the success of this contract. With Best