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:
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ban Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:02:14 +0100
Subject: ATTN Mr/Mrs.
I saw your name (in the Central Computer among the list of unpaid contractors, inheritance, next of kin and lotto beneficiaries that was originated from Africa, Europe, Asia Plus Middle east, Americans) among the list of individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been located to our Bank which is the paying bank now.
Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$2.3 Million and has been approved already for months. You are required to forward the following details of yours; full names, address, occupation, age and direct cell phone numbers for verification and re-confirmation. You are requested to get back to me for more direction and instruction on how to receive your fund. Once again, I apologize to you on behalf Of UN (UNITED NATIONS) failure to pay your funds in time, which according to records in the system had been long overdue.
Please reply through my private email for me to give you direct you/verify for the paying bank which happens to be Citibank which is the paying bank. Please kindly reply back only on this Email:email@example.com
Dr. Ban Williams.
Private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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