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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Turai Yar'Adua <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 05:31:55 -0300
HAJIA (DR.) TURAI UMARU YAR'ADUA
GOVERNMENT RESERVE AREA,ABUJA.
My name is
Hajia(Dr)Turai Yar'Adua wife of the present Late President of Republic of
Nigeria.The news about my husbands sickness and his gradual death is no
longer news. But since the unfortunate illness struck my husband, indeed
his admission in King Faisal Hospital in Saudi Arabia but the sickness
persist which made me to bring him back to Nigeria without any solution.
And death Now the Government with the Help of the international communities
has turned against us, even when I and my husband cohorts tried to keep
control of power. You can read more on the below websites for your
my husband's cohorts had deserted me,and there are various policies aimed
at investigating my Husband administration and the billion which we spent
on his health. The acting President has just being confirmed
President,dissolved the cabinet appointed by my husband, which is a clear
indication of implementing the investigative policies as many believed that
we over ride them by keeping all information about the treatment of my
husband very dark. Government and the international communities has
restricted our movements, and this affect not only certain notorious
associates of Yar'adua but also their children and other family
There is a close monitoring as satelitite is beamed on those
currently in the UK, Europe and United States and those Nigerians involved
in escalating the crisis have already been identified. The names on the
list include Yar'adua's wife, Turai, his chief economic adviser, Tanimu
Kurfi, his chief security officer, Yusuf Tilde, four state governors ? Isa
Yuguda of Bauchi State and other cronies to the President's family.
my husband had hid certain amount with a security company abroad when there
was anxiety of our return from Saudi Arabia. Although that was done in a
hurry. The amount is million ,million respectively with a Security Company
abroad. All that is needed is for you to have the PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION
NUMBER (PIN) and follow the withdrawal process to instruct the company to
transfer the funds to your account, the company
will only receive a
confirmation from me, I will remunerate you with 20% of the total funds
transferred to your vital bank account as compensation for your assistance,
Five percent (5%) would be set aside to take care of all expenses we may
incur during the transaction. To indicate your interest, contact my lawyer
urgently and confidentially for more information and the roles you will
play in this business on email: firstname.lastname@example.org Send the
following information to him
1) YOUR FULL NAMES.
2) YOUR FULL ADDRESS.
YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4) YOUR OCCUPATION.
5) YOUR AGE.
legal information concerning this Money will be sent to you as soon as we
agree together. I have been confined only to Katsina State and my phone
number is being bugged with all bank account closed or monitored. Contact
me on e-mail:email@example.com we do not know who to trust again
among the various cohorts, as even my close friend Dr Dora Akunyili can
sabotage us as she did. So we search for a neutral person that can stand
claim to this fund. My lawyer will help put you right.