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 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: George Norman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 06:23:29 -0400
Subject: From George Norman
22 St. James Square
"My Name is Charles Hicks here in the UK.I am authorized to send this email on behalf of my client" (MR. Geroge .N. YOHANNA). Due to the recent earthquate outbreak in Haiti.
Find attached documents for your better understanding.
I am Mr geroge.N. Yohanna, a citizen of Haiti. I have some reasonable and
verifiable funds (30m) which I want to invest in your country with you as my
managing partner. Although I have an age long interest in the Real Estate
business,. I would however rely on your advise on any profitable/low risk
business venture since you as a citizen of your country would be more
accurate as to the best type of business to venture into. Should this
proposal be of any interest to you, please do not hesitate to contact me on
email@example.com immediately. I will provide the complete
details of this business proposal as soon as I hear from you.
Certified Investment Consultant,
Chairman & C.E.O.