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:
- "million dollars" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Akaa Samuel" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 05:34:29 -0700
Feel not embarrase of my contacting you or soliciting your assistance in investing some of our secured resources After the political problem in my country that claimed many of my family members and properties, I have decided to invest the fund i
could hold to escape, that is our family fund in your country in a secured and profitable investment.
Can you be of help?The fund is presently in one of the African countries but because of instability in Africa ,i will be glad if you could suggest to me any country of your chioce so that the fund could be safely delivered to your custody . The amount is only 5.5 million dollars(five million five hundred thousand dollars) I am from the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa, my Son Kiki and I ran to the Ghana for security reasons during that political mess killings. I am the owner of a gold mining and cocoa export company in cote d'ivoire but everything now is shattered .I know with your sincere cooperation
,I will continue to live.