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 got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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: "Madame Halimata Diabate" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 19:59:06 +0200
Subject: Hell Sir
it is a great pleasure to write you, but I know you'll be very surprised if you do not know me. but I got your address from the directory business here in London where I am based.
I'm Mrs. HALIMATADIABATE. Women of the brigade commander GENERAL DIABATE ABDULHAZEEZ an officer of the army or cote'D. President Laurent Gbagbo on 28 July 2010.
Nevertheless, I am writing this letter in confidence and hope that I as a secret because I believe that God hears the prayer through several ways. Now, when my husband was alive he deposited the sum of $ 20 million with the name of my son. which is the only son. Now, the brothers of my husband want to invade the property that my husband has to leave. this is why I decided to ask if you can help me invest this money in your country in secret. so that the brothers of my husband and Laurent Gbagbo did not trace.
because I am in exile in London. Only my son and my lawyer know. Please if you can help me with this problem, I think you are honest and humane, God-fearing, which is not doubtful. you can write and contact me at the address below.
Again, please keep this secret for the sake of myself and my child. I would be very grateful if you can help me invest this money in your country without sheet previous problem. I always look forward to your urgent response
Thank you in advance
here's my phone number and my e-mail
Your phone number
Your complete address
Ms. Diabate Halimata