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 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.
- +447024094986 (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: STANDARD CHARTERED BANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 16:06:13 +0400
Subject: STANDARD CHARTERED BANK.
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK.
% JAMES HOWARD.
1 ALDERMAN BURY SQUARE LONDON EC2V75B
REFERENCE TO THE JUST CONCLUDED PROMO DRAW WHICH WAS CONDUCTED ON THE
25/3/2010 BY STANDARD CHARTERED BANK, THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC SELECTION
OF EXCLUSIVE LIST OF 55,000 EMAIL ADDRESSES ON OUR DATABASE, IT IS VERY
IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS BEEN RAFFLY
SELECTED AS THIS YEAR' WINNER OF 49,811,000 GBP.
TO VERIFY,PLEASE DAIL THE PROMO ACCOUNT VERIFICATION #:
WITH THE FOLLOWING REFERENCES:
BANK PROMO VERIFICATION CODE: C19750002
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 04944848748384
AS SOON AS THE CONFIRMATION IS COMPLETED, KINDLY PROVIDE US WITH THE
1. FULL NAME.
5.FULL RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
AS SOON AS WE GET THE INFORMATION,WE WOULD PROCEED TO THE NEXT STEP.