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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Professor Maurice Iwu" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 10:44:43 +0200
Good day and Compliments
My name is Professor Maurice Mmaduakolam Iwu, I was formally the Chairman of Nigerias Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
If you have been following the news recently, I was just sacked from my office few days ago. Having served this post for more than 4 years, this sack didnt come to me as a surprise due to the system of Governance here in Nigeria. May 16 is supposed to complete my 5 years in office only to be sacked now.
Well, I knew this was going to happen, I had to quickly move a sum 8.5 Million dollars into a private bank in Ghana. This money was actually suppose to be used for 2011 Election in Nigeria, which was the agreement I hard privately with the President, Umar Musa Yar Adua and his Vice Goodluck Jonathan, who happens to be the acting President since the President has been sick.
Listen, this was a close agreement between, I, the president and his vice. The president is sick and has been out of office, the vice assumed office as the president and sacked me from my position, and the truth of the matter is that he actually wants to get his hands on that money and off course eat it alone since the president is not available. I knew about this, that was why I moved the money to the Bank in Ghana. He has been tacking every where to know were I have deposited the money and as the president he has influence to any bank in Nigeria.
Ghana being in close relation to Nigeria is equally not safe thats why I need a foreign individual who is not from either Nigeria or Ghana that will provide a foreign account where this funds can be transferred . If you are ready to work with me am willing to offer you 30% of the total sum while the rest 70% will be for my sons investment. The fund was deposited under my sons name, so you will need to contact my son Michael Mmaduakolam Iwu email@example.com or call him directly +2348138494040 for procedures. Note, this mail is strictly confidential.