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 united states 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)
- "email@example.com" (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: "S GT MATHEW" <SGTMATHEW@LIVE.COM>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 20:02:24 -0000 (GMT)
FROM SSGT. MATTHEW PEMBLE
READ CAREFULLY AND REPLY URGENT.
HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY? HOPE ALL IS WELL? I BRING GOOD NEWS FROM
THE CAVES OF WAR FOR FREEDOM TO MY NATION.
MY NAME IS (STAFF SGT.) MATTHEW PEMBLE; I AM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER,
SERVING IN THE MILITARY WITH THE ARMY'S 3RD INFANTRYDIVISION. WITH A
VERY DESPERATE NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, I HAVE SUMMED UP COURAGE TO
I FOUND YOUR CONTACT PARTICULARS IN AN ADDRESS JOURNAL. I AM SEEKING
YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE TO MOVE THE SUM OF ($16 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS)
SIXTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS TO YOU, AS FAR AS I CAN BE
ASSURED THAT MY SHARE WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR CARE UNTIL I COMPLETE MY
SOURCE OF MONEY:
SOME MONEY IN VARIOUS CURRENCIES WERE DISCOVERED IN BARRELS AT A
FARMHOUSE NEAR ONE OF SADDAM'S OLD PALACES IN TIKRIT-IRAQ
DURING A RESCUE OPERATION, IT WAS AGREED BY STAFF SGT MARK BAFF AND I
THAT SOME PART OF THIS MONEY BE SHARED AMONG BOTH OF US
BEFORE INFORMING ANYBODY ABOUT IT SINCE BOTH OF US SAW THE MONEY
FIRST. THIS WAS QUITE AN ILLEGAL THING TO DO,BUT I TELL YOU
WHAT? NO COMPENSATION CAN MAKE UP FOR THE RISK WE HAVE TAKEN WITH OUR
LIVES IN THIS HELL HOLE. OF WHICH MY BROTHER IN-LAW WAS
KILLED BY A ROAD SIDE BOMB LAST TIME THE ABOVE FIGURE WAS GIVEN TO ME
AS MY SHARE, AND TO CONCEAL THIS KIND OF MONEY BECAME A
PROBLEM FOR ME, SO WITH THE HELP OF A BRITISH CONTACT WORKING HERE AND
HIS OFFICE ENJOY SOME IMMUNITY,I WAS ABLE TO GET THE PACKAGE OUT TO A
SAFE LOCATION ENTIRELY OUT OF TROUBLE SPOT. HE DOES NOT KNOW THE REAL
CONTENTS OF THE PACKAGE, AND BELIEVES THAT IT BELONGS TO A
BRITISH/AMERICAN MEDICAL DOCTOR WHO DIED IN A RAID HERE IN IRAQ, AND
BEFORE GIVING UP, TRUSTED ME TO HAND OVER THE PACKAGE TO HIS FAMILY IN
I HAVE NOW FOUND A VERY SECURED WAY OF GETTING THE PACKAGE OUT OF IRAQ
TO YOU AT HOME FOR YOU TO PICK UP, AND I WILL DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU
WHEN I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO ASSIST ME, AND I BELIEVE THAT
MY MONEY WILL BE WELL SECURED IN YOUR HAND BECAUSE YOU HAVE FEAR OF
I WANT YOU TO TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU WILL TAKE FROM THIS MONEY FOR THE
ASSISTANCE YOU WILL GIVE TO ME. ONE PASSIONATE APPEAL I WILL MAKE TO
YOU IS NOT TO DISCUSS THIS MATTER WITH ANYBODY, SHOULD YOU HAVE
REASONS TO REJECT THIS OFFER, PLEASE AND PLEASE DESTROY THIS MESSAGE
AS ANY LEAKAGE OF THIS INFORMATION WILL BE TOO BAD FOR US SOLDIER'S
HERE IN IRAQ. I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WILL REMAIN HERE, MONTH OF MAY
WAS THE DEADLIEST MONTH FOR US OUT HERE.TOTALY, WE LOST 127 MEN AND I
HAVE BEEN SHOT,
WOUNDED AND SURVIVED TWO SUICIDE BOMB ATTACKS BY THE SPECIAL GRACE OF GOD.
THIS AND OTHER REASONS I WILL MENTION LATER HAS PROMPTED ME TO REACH
OUT FOR HELP, I HONESTLY WANT THIS MATTER TO BE RESOLVED IMMEDIATELY,
PLEASE FURTHER CORRESPONDANCE TO ME SHOULD BE TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL
ADDRESS THAT IS FOR COMMUNICATION CONFIDENTIAL
email : sgtmathewpeamble@live.COM
GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
SGT MATTHEW PEMBLE