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:
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Madam. Maria Getrudis Alban" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 03:34:38 +0700
Subject: URGENT INVESTMENT
Greetings. Please accept my apologies if this my request does not meet your personal ethics as it is not intended to cause you any embarrassment in what ever form. I got your contact from the internet directory and decided to contact you for this transaction that is based on trust and your outstanding reputation based on the information I got from my Countrys Chamber of Commerce.
My name is Madam. Maria Getrudis Alban; I am a citizen of Peru. I need your kind assistance to receive the sum of $10.5m.
If this business proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apologies. However if you are willing and ready to handle this venture I shall be very grateful to hear from you for more information.
Please do get back to me as soon as you receive this mail for further information via my private mailbox:
Please if you are interested kindly respond by sending me your address,full names, and telephone numbers including your usiness/occupation to my lawyer privte email address firstname.lastname@example.org to enable me ascertain your capability of handling this business. Trusting to hear from you immediately.
Madam. Maria Getrudis Alban.