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 united states 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)
- "headquater" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "\( SGT 1ST CLASS \) BRENT VINCENT" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 16:27:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: ATTENTION DEAR.
HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?. HOPE ALL IS WELL.
MY NAME IS ( SGT 1ST CLASS ) BRENT VINCENT, I AM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER,
SERVING IN THE MILITARY WITH THE ARMYâS 3RD INFANTRY DIVISION. WITH
DESPERATE NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, I HAVE SUMMED UP COURAGE TO CONTACT YOU. I
FOUND YOUR CONTACT PARTICULARS IN AN ADDRESS JOURNAL. I AM SEEKING YOUR
KIND ASSISTANCE TO MOVE THE SUM OF ( $10 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS ) TEN
MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS TO YOU IN YOUR HOME, AS FAR AS I CAN BE
ASSURED THAT MY SHARE WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR CARE UNTIL I COMPLETE MY
SERVICE HERE, THIS IS NO STOLEN MONEY, AND THERE ARE NO DANGER INVOLVED.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
SOME MONEY IN VARIOUS CURRENCIES WAS DISCOVERED IN BARRELS AT A FARMHOUSE
NEAR ONE OF SADDAMâS OLD PALACES IN TIKRIT-IRAQ DURING A RESCUE
AND IT WAS AGREED BY STAFF SGT KENNETH BUFF AND I THAT SOME PART OF THIS
MONEY BE SHARED AMONG BOTH OF US BEFORE INFORMING ANYBODY ABOUT IT SINCE
BOTH OF US SAW THE MONEY FIRST. THIS WAS QUITE AN ILLEGAL THING TO DO, BUT
I TELL YOU WHAT ? NO COMPENSATION CAN MAKE UP FOR THE RISK WE HAVE TAKEN
WITH OUR LIVES IN THIS HELL HOLE. OF WHICH MY BROTHER IN-LAW WAS KILLED BY
A ROAD SIDE BOMB LAST WEEK.
THE ABOVE FIGURE WAS GIVEN TO ME AS MY SHARE, AND TO CONCEAL THIS KIND OF
MONEY BECAME A PROBLEM FOR ME, SO WITH THE HELP OF A BRITHISH CONTACT
WORKING HERE, AND HIS OFFICE ENJOY SOME IMMUNITY, I WAS ABLE TO GET THE
PACKAGE OUT TO A SAFE LOCATION ENTIRELY OUT OF TROUBLE SPOT. HE DOES NOT
KNOW THE REAL CONTENTS OF THE PACKAGE, AND BELIEVES THAT IT BELONGS TO A
BRITHISH/AMERICAN MEDICAL DOCTOR WHO DIED IN A RAID HERE IN IRAQ, AND
BEFORE GIVING UP, TRUSTED ME TO HAND OVER THE PACKAGE TO HIS FAMILY IN
UNITED STATES. I HAVE NOW FOUND A VERY SECURED WAY OF GETTING THE PACKAGE
OUT OF IRAQ TO Your Country FOR YOU TO PICK UP, HOWEVER, A SOLID STRATEGY
HAVE BEEN MAPED OUT ON HOW TO LIFT THE CASH VIA A DIPLOMATIC CARGO FREIGHT
COMPANY WITH THEIR HEADQUATERS IN AMSTERDAM -NETHERLAND AND BRANCHES AT
KUWAIT AND JORDAN, NOTE THAT I WILL DISCUSS THE SHIPMENT ARRANGEMENT AND
CONSEQUENTELY FORWARD THE ROUTING SLIP TO YOU WHEN I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE
WILLING TO HELP ME.
I WANT YOU TO TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU WILL TAKE FROM THIS MONEY FOR THE
ASSISTANCE YOU WILL GIVE TO ME. ONE PASSIONATE APPEAL I WILL MAKE TO YOU
IS NOT TO DISCUSS THIS MATTER WITH ANYBODY, SHOULD YOU HAVE REASONS TO
REJECT THIS OFFER, PLEASE PLEASE AND PLEASE DESTROY THIS MESSAGE AS ANY
LEAKAGE OF THIS INFORMATION WILL BE TOO BAD FOR US SOLDIERâS HERE IN
I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WILL REMAIN HERE, AND I HAVE BEEN SHOT, WOUNDED
AND SURVIVED TWO SUICIDE BOMB ATTACKS BY THE SPECIAL GRACE OF GOD, THIS
AND OTHER REASONS I WILL MENTION LATER HAS PROMPTED ME TO REACH OUT FOR
HELP, I HONESTLY WANT THIS MATTER TO BE RESOLVED IMMEDIATELY,PLEASE
CONTACT ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITH MY E-MAIL ADDRESS WHICH IS MY ONLY WAY
GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.