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)
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Anthony Lwason" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:01:46 -0500
Subject: From Anthony Lawson
How are you today and your family? The hope fine, I'm Dr.Anthony Lawson of Haledon, North West London in England here. I work for NatWest Bank Corporation of London. I write from My Office, which will be a huge benefit for us. In my department, where he was assistant manager (Greater London Regional Office, I discovered an abandoned sum of U.S. Dollars 12.5 million U.S. dollars (five million U.S. dollars hundred thousand) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers, Late Mr. Thompson Morrison, Twelve American citizen who unfortunately lost life in the plane crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 which crashed in January to 312,000, including his wife and daughter. The choice of contact with you is the geographical nature of where aroused from one lives, mainly because the transaction nature of the sensitive and confidentiality herein. Now our bank has since for any relatives to come up for question, but nobody did. personally have I been unsuccessful in locating!
the relatives for 2 years, I try
I have secured all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this claim we are doing. All i need is to fill in your names on the documents and legalized in court here to prove that as a legitimate recipient. All I need now is your honest cooperation to enable and Trust Privacy see through this transaction. I guarantee that this Will be performed under the expectations that will protect you from the any breach law.Please provide the following: we have 7 days to run through. This is very urgent please.
1. Full Name:
2. Phone Number:
3. Your Contact Address.
5. Core work / Occupation:
After going through a methodical search, I decided to contact you hoping that you will find this proposal on interesting.Please confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnished with more information. Try to let me know your decision rather than keep me waiting.