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:
- 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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "gomez" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 05:11:41 +0200
Subject: Hello Friend.
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics. I will introduce myself as Mr David Ramon Gomez, a staff in the accounts
management section of the above firm here in Spain. Please write to my confidentail email;firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the detail of what i want you to assist me in doing, One of our accounts with holding balance of ?22,000,000.00(Twenty Two Million Euro) has been dormant and has not been operated for the past six (6) years. From my investigations and confirmations,the owner of this account, a foreigner by name (Andreas Schranner)
died in July, 2000.
see this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
And since then nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money because he has no family members who are aware of the existence of neither the account nor the funds.I have secretly discussed this matter with a senior official of this company and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with. We thus propose to do business with you, standing in as thenext of kin of these funds from the deceased and funds released to you after due processes have been followed.
This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is legitimate and does not originate from drug, money laundry, terrorism or any other illegal act. On receipt of your response I will furnish you with detailed clarification as it relates to this mutual benefit transaction.
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. If you are interested and with your trust.And also furnish me with the following informations:
YOUR FULL NAMES.............
YOUR TEL/FAX NUMBERS........
As soon as i recieve the above informations i will give you the information of Late Mr Andreas Schranner's Account Details.Please reply to my confidential email:email@example.com
Mr.David Ramon Gomez