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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Raymond Davison <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:17:21 +0530
Subject: Your urgent reply waited
This message might meet you in utmost surprise meanwhile i have sent you this
mail before but did not see your response, i believe you did not
receive it so i
have to resend it again. However,it's just my urgent need for foreign partner
that made me to contact you for this transaction.
I am a banker by profession from Lome - Togo in west Africa and currently
holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting unit of the
bank.I have the
opportunity of transfering the left over funds($6.2million) of one of my bank
clients who died along with his entire family on 31 july 2000 in a plane
crash.You can confirm the genuiness of the deceased death by clicking on this
Hence i am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared
between us in the ratio of 60/40. If you agree to my business proposal.further
details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your
return mail through my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Raymond Davison