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:
- "million pounds" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "United Nations Iheritance Office" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 04:27:01 +0200
Subject: Attention Your Unclaimed Inheritance Funds
Ref Number #4534423
Office Of the Head Of Operations
er95le, United Nations Square, London UK.
I am Kent Myers. I am the director of information Her Majesty Custom and
Revenue,London United Kingdom. Our duty is to look into transactions and records of banks,securities companies
and financial houses within Europe based on the directive of British Prime Minister Mr Gordon Brown.We also work in collaboration with American,
Asian, African and Australian clearing houses.
During our investigation we discovered UN-paid debts from different banks and
securities companies,worth over 400 Million pounds lying unpaid with Banks in
London and that you are to be paid for an INHERITED FUND/ASSET, which requires
presentation of certain documents and payment of fees before the fund could be
released to you.
View the website for more information: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5171222.stm
I want to inform you that the problem you are having is from your partners and the
lawyer who is representing you,They do not reveal the reason for the delay of your
payment and the reason you should pay the money they demand from you.
My reason for contacting you is to inform you to stop payment of any such to the
lawyer or to the financial bank and securities companies as you will not receive
your fund due to some anomalies we discovered in your file.
We are to protect your interest contact me
Immediately so we can advice you on how you will receive your fund without any
You are hereby advised to maintain constant contact with me and avoid any
interaction with unscrupulous agents, partners or lawyers.
KENT MYERS (ESQ)