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:
- 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:
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 17:09:56 -0300
World Bank Assisted Program
Directorate of International Payment
World Bank Switzerland.
It is to bring to your notice that the Bank draft of $800.000 Dollars has been
awarded to you by the WORLD BANK in the on-going WORLD BANK POVERTY ERADICATION
PROGRAMME, I Mr. Leonard Jefferson the Sector Coordinator,Social Development
officer, signed the project and deposited with FedEx Express Courier Nigeria
Branch, which i have earlier notified you.
Contact Person: Mr.Maxwell Brian
Email Address: email@example.com
Tel:+2348027974507 for claims
N.B: I have paid them for the delivery, the only money you will pay is their
security fee which is $165.00 Dollars to enable them deliver the package to
your given address. Reconfirm your details to them:(1) Your full Name (2) Your
home address (3) Mobile number
Mr. Leonard Jefferson
Facultad de Ciencias Económicas
Universidad Nacional de Jujuy