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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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 (Rediffmail, India; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Pedro Lopez" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 00:28:19 +0200
Subject: Read This Mail.
Mr. Pedro Lopez
Royal Bank of Scotland
José Ortega y Gasset 7 & 29
Phone Number +34688210973
Please send your response to (email@example.com)
My name is Mr.Pedro Lopez, what I have that may be of interest to you is a business proposal that will benefit you.I work with the Royal
Bank of Scotland here in Madrid Spain. The main reason I am writing to you is based on a Corporate Bank account that has been lying dormant for some years now, it was owned by a late Canadian industrialist.Due to my investigations, I found out that she died on 22nd of September,2001 from injuries sustained from an auto crash in venezuela, with no child, next of kin or relative. But before her death she had mandated us to raise a draft to transfer the funds in her corporate account to one, Mr.Daniel Raul, a contractor, being payment for his contractual services for the supply and installation of drilling equipments, and aviation parts made as supplies to her oil servicing and aviation company in Venezuela.
Unfortunately he also died in the crash alongside with her while visiting her in Venezuela. The fact that Mr.Daniel is the supposed beneficiary of the funds is not known to anybody, except a few of us involved in this transaction. We have for many years made frantic efforts to trace any of his surviving relatives but to no success.
If we do not trace any of his relatives, then the funds will end up being reverted to the British Government or repatriated to Canada. We are therefore soliciting your support in order for us to present you from the Company as the contractor who had actually executed the contract and is entitlted to the funds in the account as his contractual payment. Once this is done, we will give a certain percentage of the funds to you and keep the rest for ourselves. I will inform you more on how to get the account transferred to you upon your response by email.I would want you to have it in mind that this project is 100% risk free. Also have it in mind that your area of specialization or Sex is of no importance to your helping us in this impending transaction please feel very free to contact me on this phone number +34688210973 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +34688210973 end_of_the_skype_highlighting