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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Fred Godwin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 23:55:32 -0000
Subject: Compliment of the day,
Compliment of the day,
I write to request your co-operation in my desire to find a foreign partner who will assist me in the relocation and investment of the sum of Twelve Million five hundred thousand British Pounds only, which is presently available and in my possession. Tough i have not met with you before but I believe, one has to risk confiding in someone to succeed sometime in life. Presently, I presently work as a senior Accounts Director, Offshore Mortgage & Services with NatWest Bank Plc, London. The money was realized from gratification/kickbacks which were received from foreign contractors who executed contracts for my country in the last few years.
I am unable to travel out now, so I shall be glad if you can stand as beneficiary to receive this money in your account, and also nominate a good investment facility in your country where the fund will be placed, for profits making. I am offering you 40% of total sum after the transfer. I also want to assure you that there is no risk attach to you in this business. I am counting on your sense of confidentiality, as it is my desire that you keep this business to yourself. However if you are willing to assist me in this venture I will be very grateful to hear from you and bring you into a much better picture of the situation.
Feel free to send to me the Following details you will find below, to enable us start the process:
1. Your full Names and contact Address.
2. Your private Telephone, cell phone and fax numbers.
I look forward to receive your prompt response.
Sir. Fred Godwin
Private e-mail: email@example.com