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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- +447035982106 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Summer Morgan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 06:40:50 -0400 (EDT)
MY NAMES ARE, SUMMER MORGAN.
AM THE AUDITOR AND HEAD OF THE COMPUTING DEPARTMENT OF A REPUTED BANK HERE
IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, THERE'S A DEPOSIT ACCOUNT WORTH
(₤4,000,000.00) THAT WAS OPENED IN 1999AND SINCE MY INCEPTION IN
2002 NOBODY HAS EVER CARRIED OUT ANY FORM OF TRANSACTION ON THIS ACCOUNT,
SO AM LOOKING FOR A RELIABLE PERSON WHO IS NOT A BANKER WITH WHO WOULD
HELP ME WITH A FOREIGN ACCOUNT WHERE I WILL USE MY POSITION TO SEE THAT
THE MONEY IS TRANSFERED IMMEDIATELY.
I SOUGHT AND FOUND YOUR EMAIL FROM GOOGLE DIRECTORY, NOTE THAT IF WE
DON'T TRANSFER THIS MONEY IT WILL BE FORFEITED TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
FOR THE FUNDING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN ACCORDANCE TO THE BRITISH BANKING
RULES BECAUSE THIS. PLEASE RESPOND IMMEDIATELY SO THAT I CAN USE MY
INFLUENCE TO NECESSITATE THE LEGAL APPROVAL FOR THE ONWARD TRANSFER OF
THIS SAID FUND, SO WE CAN SHARE IT 50% EACH. KINDLY QUOTE THE REFERENCE
(ACCT) NUMBER WHEN RESPONDING TO MY MAIL USING MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS
(email@example.com ) OR YOU CAN CALL ME THROUGH MY DIRECT TEL NO
:+447035982106 I WILL UPDATE WITH MORE INFORMATION ON HOW SAFE, SECURE
AND RISK FREE THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION CAN AND WILL BE UPON YOUR
THANKS AND GOD BLESS
MR SUMMER MORGAN.