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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Solomon Zuma" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:22:03 +0100
Subject: Investment Proposal.
3/5 Commercial Rd,
Durban 4001,South Africa.
I got your contact today,with hope you are reliable and trustworthy.
Am the head of the contract award committee and 14 project allocation manager, of the Department of Minerals and Natural Resources in Durban-Southafrica.
I need your assistance to bank (USD10.5M) and subsequent investment it on properties in your country urgently. You will be required to.
(1) Assist in the banking safely of the said funds
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment
(3) Assist in purchase of properties.
If you can render your assistance in this regard, 20% of the total investment sum will be for you as your commission. It will be done under a legitimate process so that we will not breach any international or local laws governing the same. Making it a 100% risk free.
I wait in anticipation of your reply and co-operation.
Private Box: email@example.com