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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Franklin Woods" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 02:09:43 +0100
Subject: Mr. Franklin Woods For Bristol Investment Brokers Ltd.
I write to you based on a request for an investment option in your country by a high profile clients of mine
My name is Mr. Franklin Woods, I'm a business developer in my Country.My reason for contacting you is that
I have an urgent need to invest some fund amounting to £10,200,000.00 (Ten Million,Two Hundred
Thousand pound sterling) into small business in your country for a client of mine.What he requested is an
individual such as yourself, who will be willing to put this money to good use for a period of 3 years for a
start.He is offering you these terms.
(1)5% will be paid to you as an administrator of the total fund to be managed.
(2)The fund will be used by you as a foreign Administrator and re profile the fund as a loan without any
interest. That is, you do not pay any interest on the money, but you will give him 50% of all profits after tax
that will accrue from the use of the fund. If these terms are agreeable to you, kindly let me know and I will
provide you with other necessary information.
Waiting for your reply message.
Mr. Franklin Woods
For: Bristol Investment Brokers Ltd.