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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Sgt. Lee Johnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2010 10:28:34 +0100
I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively unknown =
to you before. My name is Sgt. Lee Johnson, a member of the U.S. ARMY USARP=
AC Medical Team, which was deployed to Iraq in the beginning of the war in =
Iraq. I would like to share some highly personal classified information abo=
ut my personal experience and role which I played in the pursuit of my care=
er serving under the U.S 1st Armored which was at the fore-front of the war=
in Iraq. Though, I would like to hold back certain information for secur=
ity reasons for now until you have find the time to visit the BBC website s=
tated below to enable you have insight as to what I'm intending to share wi=
th you, believing that it would be of your desired interest one-way or the =
Also, could you get back to me having visited the above website to ena=
ble us discuss in a more clarifying manner to the best of your understandin=
g. For more information on how we will proceed with this proposal kindly ge=
t intouch with me through: email@example.com
Sgt. Lee Johnson.