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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- +447024020987 (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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "JULIAN RENDEL" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 22:49:12 +0100
Subject: GOOD DAY FRIEND
I buy your guts and courage to be more conscious when it come's to case like this, it is normal you get protective over such issue as you never knows how real it is.I am a reputable man of high and international standard, it will be so discrediting to my credibility if this was a scam or what so ever you call it.It is a shame today that so many people have them selves involve in such barbaric attitude but am happy that i am a legitimate business man and clean minded. I am a knight in my church I worship as a good Christian
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as a winner in the category "A" with the following numbers attached Ref Number:EH
8580 OGSO So many emails addresses were picked from a gas filling station, supermarket, and some entertaiment centers including so many website and database etc and your email address happen to be among them.
I have authorized the Finance and Compensation house in LONDON UNITED KINGDOM where I deposited your international certified bank draft of 3.7,000,000.00 (Three Million and Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars).This cheque is cashable at any bank of your choice in your country.
It is a real your cheque and you can cash it in any bank of your choice in your country. The cheque has been put under a hard cover parcel for security reasons.
CONTACT COMPENSATION AND FINANCE HOUSE IN LONDON UNITED KINGDOM NOW IN THE PERSON OF MR FRANK WILLIAMS.
FINANCE AND COMPENSATION HOUSE
PLOT 39 HAVARD ROAD LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
NAME: FRANK WILLIAMS
CONTACT PHONE NUMBER:+447024020987
My sincere advice to you as a christian is that you should endeavour to pay your tithe to a bible believing church when you get the prize and try to help the less previledge ones in your country, by donating to the orphanage homes.