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:
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mary" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 22:25:30 +0430
Subject: My Dear
>From Miss. Mary A. Wilfred
I am Miss. Mary A. Wilfred, 19 years old; it is my wish to contact you for a business venture which I want to establish with you in your country. There's huge amount of money Three Million dollars ($3,000,000) my late father deposit in a bank here in my country before his death.
My late father Mr Romaric Wilfred acquired this money from his Cocoa farm, My father died as a result of political problems my Father was killed by the Pro-Gbagbo Supporters I have decided to move this fund from my country and to invest this fund in your country for my safety and for the safety of the fund; please I need your assistance to move this fund from here to your country for investment.
If you are willing and ready to help me financially, to obtain the legal papers to move the fund to your country, I promise to offer you 20% of the total sum for your assistance after the successful delivery of the fund to your country.
After you take 20% out of the fund for your assistance then the remaining 80% we will invest it in any profitable venture in your country both of us will share the profit from the investment equally.
Please indicate your willingness to help me out save my life and this fund out of my problem country and I promise to be honest with you. I will give you more details concerning the transaction as you contact me, with your contact details such as: Your Full Names, Home and Country Address, Direct Telephone Number, Photo.
Miss. Mary A. Wilfred.