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:
- "million 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Nina Rafael <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 02:53:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From Nina Rafael,
>From Nina Rafael,
Reqest to be my guardian and then help me to come over to your country,
May the blessings of God be upon you and grant you the wisdom and
sympathy to understand my situation and how much I need your help.my
name is Nina Rafael, I am 20 years old,the only child of late Mr
Rafael,I humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in
transferring and investing of my inherited fund $4.7 million Dollars, I
inherited from my late father.Please I need your urgent assistant to
help me provide an account and other relevant detail that will enable
the bank transfer the money to your account.
I will need you to declare your interest by replying this email and
furnishing me with your direct phone number,full name and your full
address, With the information I can now go to the bank here to resent
you as my foreign partner. I wait your reply.