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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Lucky Amechi" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 02:08:13 +0100
Subject: This is for our mutual benefit
Please do not assume this to be another internet joke. I am Dr. Lucky Amechi. I am a politician and also a senior staff of the Ministry of Health here in Abuja, Nigeria. I got your e-mail from an internet data following my effort searching for a trustworthy person to assist me. Though constrained by inadequate information about you, I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust that I am about to impose on you for mutual benefit of our families. The transaction in question of which I am about to reveal to you, emanated from over-invoicing of contract awarded in my ministry for the supplies of medical equipment and quality health programs. In the course of the contract awarded and executed by several foreign female and male contractors, the approvals and payments are being completed on my directives, So I made some alterations. Now, there is a top over. I also have some documents in my possession, these documents will stipulate you as one of the contractors the ministr
y is yet to settle.
For full details, please kindly respond to me.
Dr. Lucky Amechi
Tel: +234 807 7103 798
NB: You see, I sent this very message long before now, in fact many times.. but I did not receive any response from you. So I supposed my message was queued or delayed? Anyway, I am sending to you again. Kindly respond