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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "cashier's check" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "administrator" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 10:24:32 +0800
Subject: From: Cargill Foundation Anniversary 2011
Our Ref: CFG/MY/B005
Cargill which was founded in 1865 by W.W. Cargill,
was conceived with the objective of Human Growth,
Education and Community development. We are pleased to
inform you that as part of our 2011 fiscal year
promotion, Cargill is donating Nine Hundred and Fifty
Thousand United States Dollar`s, towards the Cargill
Foundation anniversary as specific cash aid to YOU, as a
Compensation for personal development, and this should be
used by each for the development of his/her
community or assist those in need. For more details
about our charitable donations please visit our website
Cargill has contributed more than US $58 million to
nonprofit and/or nongovernmental organizations, schools
and local community organizations in locations where we
have a business presence. Based on the selection
exercise from all databases and websites on the
internet, you were selected among the recipients to
receive the sum of US$950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty
Thousand United States Dollar`s) as cash aid. It is
therefore my pleasure to officially inform you that you
have been chosen By the Board of trustees of the Cargill
Foundation, as one of the recipients for 2011 Charitable
giving for your own personal, educational and business
And we have authorized the MayBank, in Malaysia, To
draft an international Cashier's Check, for YOU, worth
US$950,000.00 cashable anywhere in the world and has be
issue in your favor, as a Compensation to YOU.
However, we will like you to contact the [UPS
DELIVERY SERVICE] for the collection of this
international Certified Cashier's check, to you, And we
have authorized them to release the bank draft to you as
soon as you Re-confirm Your:-
(1) Full Name:
(2) Contact Number:
(3) Current Country and Address:
Please; Don`t forget to send him Your delivery
information to enable the UPS deliver the check to your
UPS Deliver officer
Contact Person: Mr. Christ Fisher
Email Address: email@example.com
On behalf of the Cargill Foundation, board of trustees,
kindly accept our warmest congratulations.
Mr Jerry Awang
© 2011 Cargill, Incorporated.