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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "CHIMA BEKO" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 08:19:36 +0100
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION
It's been long I heard from you. Well, I just want to use this medium to
thank you very much for your earlier assistance to help me in receiving the
funds, without any positive outcome. I am obliged to inform you that I have
succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from
Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the men
accountant who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and he
rendered a tremendous help to us. My new partner initiated this idea and
everything worked out successfully.
Therefore, in appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the
Funds, I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $850.000.00
(Eight hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars) this is from my own
share, I did this simply to show you that it is good to do good things
to the right people always.
Presently, I am in Australia for investment project with my own share under
the advice of my partner. Meanwhile, I didn't forget your past efforts and
attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us
somehow, I will be sending you e-mail from time to time to know if you have
received your share or not.
Now contact my personal secretary I left the check with him, do furnish him
with your address and your private telephone number to receive the check .
CONTACT PERSON: JAMES UCHE
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the
joy together after all the effort at that time. In the moment, I am very
busy here in Australia because of the investment projects, which the new
partner and I have at hand. So feel free to get in touch with Mr JAMES
UCHE to send the check to you without any delay.
Mr. Chima beko