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:
- 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)
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Emmanuel Ajegba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 14:12:07 -0800 (PST)
Subject: can i confide in you
I am Emmanuel Ajegba Esq the attorney to Chief James O. Ibori (former Governor of the Richest Oil Producing State in Nigerian for 8years, i am looking for your cooperation in building a Tourist Hotel or Real Estate in your country with my client funds that is deposited abroad in a Trust Account because i cannot be in charge of the funds myself as the attorney in charge, i have the power as the attorney in charge to make a new heir to the funds with the consent of my client (Chief James O. Ibori).
I am sorry if this is not in line with your profession. My client Chief James O. Ibori was arrested by the Interpol in Dubai for Money Laundering recently.
Please click for your perusal.
I need an experienced person like you to assist me to set up, develop the project and assume responsibility of ownership as chairman but will be bringing in profit/distribute profit monthly or annually.
I shall give you more information as regards this transaction as soon as i hear from you.
Emmanuel Ajegba Esq.