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:
- 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:
- "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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Col.Richard Atwater" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2011 06:10:32 +0000
Subject: Assist me out of Iraq.
Attn : My Friend
With a very desperate need for assistance, I have summed up courage to
contact you. I am from (will disclose this later), presently working in
Iraq with an international organization that I will also disclose
later, I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am
seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of (US$9.4 Million Dollars)
Nine Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars to your country
or any other safe country of your choice, as far as I can be assured that
my share will be safe in your care untill I complete my service here,this
is no stolen money, and there are no dangers involved.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies was discovered concealed in barrels
with piles of weapons and ammunition's at a location near one of
Saddam,s old palaces during a rescue operation, and it was agreed by all
party present that the money be shared amongst us, this was quite an
illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? no compensation can make up for
the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole.
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 German contact
working here, and his office enjoys some immunity, I was able to get
the package out to a safe cation entirely out of trouble spot. He does
not know the real contents of the package, and believes that it belongs
to an Asian/American who died in an air raid, and before giving up,
trusted me to hand over the package to his business associate. I have
now found a secured way of getting the package out to a safer country for
you to pick up, and will discuss this with you when I am sure that you are
willing to assist me. One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to
discuss this matter with a third party, should you have reasons to reject
this offer, please destroy this mail as any leakage of this information
will be too bad for us.
I do not know for how long we will remain here, and I have survived 2
suicide bomb attacks by the special grace of God, this and other
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 on this e-mail for security reason,