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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "hundred thousand great british 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 next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447035962852 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Dr.Michael William" <email@example.com>
Date: 4 Jan 2011 15:51:31 +0000
From Dr.Michael William
Please can you be trusted? I am Dr.Michael William From Harlesden, North West London,here in England. I work for UBS Investment Bank London. I am writing you from my office that will be of an immense benefit for both of us. In my department, being the manager London Regional Office, I discovered an abandoned sum of Â£15.4 Million Great British Pounds Sterling (Fifteen Million Four Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds ) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Mr. Stephan Richard who unfortunate loss his life in an accident.
The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature of where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of these transaction, the Bank officials has been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that. I personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for 3 years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at Â£15.4 Million Pounds will be transferred to your bank account as the next of kin to Late Mr.Stephan Richard
This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% for me and 40% for you. All I need is to upload your details in our banking database system as the next of kin to Late Mr. Stephan Richard.All I require now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and Trust to enable us see this transaction through. Please you have to keep this transaction 100% secret because of my position here in my bank.
I got your contact from your country international business information; I decided to contact you hoping that you will find this deal interesting. Please on your confirmation of this message and indicate your interest I will furnish you with more information. Endeavor to let me know your decision as soon as possible.I will like to invest my own share 60% in your country.
Provide me the following information as we have 7 days to conclude this transaction it's very urgent please.
1. Full Name
2. Your Resident Address
3. Your Direct Mobile Number
4. Your Fax Number
Reply to my private email contact:firstname.lastname@example.org