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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447024092205 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447043085388 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Timothy Rogers" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2011 07:38:32 +0100
Subject: CLAIM OF INHERITANCE !!!
Offshore IT Banking,
United Kingdom, England.
This is Mr.Timothy Rogers,I write to confirm if you receive my first email i sent you about your late uncle's fund of US$27,846.00.19 Million Dollars in the bank ?
Return back to me by fax: +44-704-308-5388
The information in this message is confidential and may be legally privileged. Access to this message by anyone other than the addressee is not authorized. If you are not the intended recipient, or an agent of the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, or distribution of the message or any action or omission taken by you in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have Received this message in error, please contact the sender immediately and permanently delete the original e-mail, attachment(s), and any copies.