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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
- 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.
- +447024059551 (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 (AOL Instant Messenger; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- geoff stalker email: firstname.lastname@example.org dear friend, i have sent you this message because of the need to open discussions with you. i (Aim; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Geoff Stalker" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 09:42:00 +0200
Subject: Disbursement Offer
I have sent you this message because of the need to open discussions with you. I don't want you to misunderstand this offer in any aspect, if it is okay with you I ask for your full co-operation. I am Geoff Stalker, the Franchise Owner of Bolelymneft gaz, a Russian oil company. I have Esophageal Cancer, which has defiled all forms of medical treatment and according to the medical experts it is a terminal illness so I do not know how much longer I have to live. I never had any real friends in my lifetime because I never really cared for anyone but my business. But now I know that there is more to live than making all the money in the world.
Recently I received a bulk payment from Azerbaijan Ministry for my Last contract there. I instructed them specifically not to send the Funds to Russia, but that the funds should be deposited with a Finance and Security company in Europe on hold. A huge cash deposit of US$12million was domiciled with the Finance/Security Company overseas to my knowledge only. This is the last of my assets, now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore; I therefore need you as a friend/partner because you are a neutral party to help me collect these funds deposited with the security company and disburse it secretly based on my lawyers instructions.
Because my time is short I have decided to give most of this money to Charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. For all your good efforts you will receive 30% of the Funds and disburse the rest based on my instructions. I want you to understand my seriousness in this case and if you can handle this transaction, kindly contact my Lawyer,
Advocate John Stokes
Unit 4 The Plaza, Fitzwilliam Street,
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 4JB,
He has all the necessary documentations at hand, Please contact him ASAP for further discussion.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.