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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Edward Utom <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 07:52:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: I will wait for your feedback
I am Edward Utom,a Malaysia Citizen, I have interest of investing in your country as well as seek your services in a a financial transaction that will benefit both of us. As a manager in my bank, it my duty to send financial reports to my head office in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
On the course of the last year 2010 end of the of the year report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made($17,500.000.00USD) of which my head Office is not aware of and will never be aware of. I have since then PLACED this fund on a SUSPENCE ACCOUNT without a beneficiary.
As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am compelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account. At the conclusion of this transaction,you will be given 50% of the total amount and 50% will be for me.
I do need to assure you that there is practically no risk involved in this. It going to be a bank-to-bank transfer.
All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund.