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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Leak Mike" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 20:07:48 +0400
Subject: Good News
Good day to you. I am writing this proposal to intimate you on my interest in
carrying out a highly confidential transaction amounting to the sum of
$15,200.000.00 (Fifteen Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
This fund was deposited by a late customer of my bank, Who died in the 9/11
World Trade Centre bombing by the terrorists over Nine years ago, and I have
been waiting for the family to come forward for the funds and up till now I
have not seen or hard from an body who says that He knows the depositor of the
funds. But I cannot mention his name at this moment until I receive a positive
response from you.
As you can see, I do not want to reveal my identity for security reason. I am
the Vice President of the bank here in Southern state in U S A. and I have all
it takes to carry out this transaction successfully. I have all the title
deeds and also would extract all
deposit agreement in your name to enable us achieve a successful transaction.
I will give you further details when I receive your response with indicated