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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Azman Binti Hashim" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 02:26:31 +0800
Subject: [*** SPAM ***] DETECTED BY WEBMAIL.IPV.PT THINK ABOUT A NEW WORLD AND A NEW HOPE
I am Mrs Azman Binti Hashim original from Holland. I am married to Dr.Harry Minaal Hashim. who worked with a construction company in Asia for
twenty Years before he died, we were married but without any child and presently I am 58 Years old. When my late husband was alive he deposited
the sum of $ 5.5m. (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) with a financial firm.
Am presently in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment Cancer of the lungs, I want you to use 70% of this money to fund a charity
organization around the world but on my name Mrs Azman Binti Hashim.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the information and the details of the financial firm and all the details of this worthy
transaction. Please reply to me with this email(email@example.com)
God Bless You!
Mrs Azman Binti Hashim