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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Yuping Asehui." <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2011 04:09:46 +0200
Subject: Urgent Proposal...
its about a customer that came to S.C.Bank to engage in Private Banking
services,the customer had a financial portfolio of $21.5m USD and this I
help turned over in the purchase of securities in the capital markets.I
was the bank adviser assisting the customer in the management of the
funds. I have proposal for you as a matter of urgency to late Mr.Eric
Morgan from United Kingdom,who died along side with his wife and their
only daughter in the event,Terrorist Attack on 11th September,2001 in the
world trade center.My proposition is that,I am prepared to place you in a
position and instruct my Bank to release the deposit to you as the closest
surviving relation.If you find yourself able to work with me in this
transaction,do contact my private. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
If you give me positive signals,I will initiate this process towards