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:
- 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 dollars" (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: Aisha Sheldon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 20:21:34 +0200
Subject: Hello from Aisha
How was your night over there in your country and the day,I believe you
had a nice night and that the athmosphere over there in your country is
very nice today? Mine was a little bit warm over here in Oru refugee
camp in Nigeria.
My name is Aisha Sheldon and i will love to know you more.I am 21yrs
but i want
you to know that age does not matter in a relationship so i am
confortable with your age.
I lost my father in the war in Darfur. I am the only one alive now
and I have been living under a Revrend father's care with his family
and i am using his computer to send these message to you.
I am contacting you in regards to a business transfer of a large sum of
money from my late fathers account.I do like to inform you that this
proposal is completely risk free. The money in question I want to transfer
into your bank account is my inheritance from my late father. It is legally
acquired money so there is nothing wrong about it. I am compelled to even
trust someone that I do not know because I do not have any choice.
Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one
apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that everything is
legal and all will be well at the end of
the day. I honestly need your assistance to transfer 4.5 Million
Dollars from my Late
Fathers account and i will give you more information about it in my
next mail.I am in
Nigeria currently,I would like to know more about you.Your likes and
hobbies and what you are doing
presently.I will tell you more about myself in my next mail.Attached
is my picture.Please
kindly contact me only on my personal email:
Hoping to hear from you soonest