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:
- 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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i want to solicit your attention" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Lu Peijun <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 02:28:29 +0800
Subject: Proposal Mail.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Mr Lu Peijun (Minister of General=
Administration of Customs of the Peoples Republic of China).I have a=
secured business proposal for you, which i believe will be beneficia=
l to both of us I want to solicit your attention. The purpose of my c=
ontacting you is because you live outside China.
Actually i got your contact during my discreet search for a reliable,=
successfull, business oriented partner. I feel it would be huge surp=
rise for you to receive such email from a serving minister of the Peo=
ple=92s Republic of China. I will give you more information about mys=
elf and the business. Forgive me if you see my business proposal as s=
hameful and not honourable because of my governmental status, but ple=
ase excuse me and understand that this is the situation I am and must=
find a credible partner outside China.
In my years of government service as Narcotics Control Commission and=
General Administration of Customs, I have received kick backs from s=
mugglers and business people seeking favours from me and as a public =
officer my bank accounts are monitored hence I diverted the funds Twe=
nty million United States dollars for safe keeping abroad. I want you=
to receive the money which has been in deposit since the last Three =
years. When the money is in your bank account, I want to use Sixty Pe=
rcent of the money for charity to help orphanage Children suffering (=
You will spare head this project and my name will not be mentioned)=
.You will receive Twenty Percent as your commission and I will take t=
he remaining Twenty Percent as my share which I intend to settle with=
Please consider this proposal and reply to me soon. It will certainly=
do you no good to report me to my government authorities or divulge=
this information to anybody because doing so will only destroy my pe=
rson and my career.
If you are interested in my proposal, please contact me on my private=
email address:firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you more informatio=
n about myself and this proposal.
Mr Lu Peijun.