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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt.Nelson Dillon" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 07:13:37 -0300
Subject: PLEASE READ
My name is Sgt. Nelson Dillon, serving in the Engineering military unit in
Ba'qubah in Iraq. As you know, we are being attacked by insurgents
everyday and car bombings.we found some money here in Baqubah in Iraq, we
cannot keep this money in the bank,because we are working for the
government,My partners and I need a good partner/individaul, someone we
can trust and We want to move this money out of iraq to a
reputable/sincere person for investment purposes.
We plan on using a diplomatic means to ship the money out as military
cargo, using diplomatic immunity.This is the reason for contacting
you.Once the funds get to you,take your 30% out and keep our own 70%.. The
only thing we require from you is just for you to help us find a safe
place where the funds can be sent to,because Iraq is a war zone. If you
are interested get back for more details.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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