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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Mariam Alan" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 13:01:01 -0600
Subject: Dear Beloved.
My Name is Mrs.Mariam Alan from Jazzin in Lebanon, I was married to Mr Alan
Barry, a devouted muslim from Westminster council greater London UK.
My late husband was a devouted muslim, He made up his mind to convert to islam
after we met and both of us fall inlove. His family members fought against his
decision likewise my own family who disowned me for my choice of getting
married to Mr Alan Barry, but Alan being a man of himself followed his
decision and we got married, we lived happily for 15 years but on the 24th day
of december 2008, My Husband lost his life ,Since the death of my late
husband, the family of my late husband has frozen all his acess .We have no
other hope of surviving this unwanted situation hence I decided to contact you
for assistance. I am therefore contacting you to assist me in channelling the
sum of #1.7million British Sterling pounds belonging to my late husband
deposited in the bank into a productive investment venture in your country,and
I look to make this investment under your directive, Please while I await your
prompt response.i will like you to know that all the legal documents to back
this up would be provided by me.This will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement . I will appreciate your response to furnish you with more details
of this fund .
Mrs Mariam Alan.