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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Adam Brown" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 21:27:03 +0700
Subject: KINDLY REPLY!!
I am Mr.Adam L.Brown,I am the Branch Supervisor of the Capital One Bank UK.
I am 57 years of age, I am married with 1 kid.It may interest you to hear that I am a Man of peace and I don't want problem.I assure you that this transaction is 100% real and risk free,and as such,you are not going to regret doing this transaction with me. I only hope that we can assist each other.
Me and my Manager have agreed to contact you on this financial transaction that will benefit 3 of us.
We discovered that my office has made Eleven Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollar [11, 750.000.00],which I will give you the full picture of how it was made as soon as I get your Response.
Me and My Manager have since placed this fund on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary.
As officials[Me and My Manager] of the bank,can not be directly connected to this fund, So I have decided with my Manager to contact you to work with us in order to assist and receive this fund into your bank account for us to SHARE.
Mean While you will have 15% of the total fund,Me and My Manager will take 80%,while 5% will be set aside for any expenses incurred during the transaction.
If you accept this offer to work with us,We will need your response immediately to avoid us looking for another partner.
I will give you details as soon as I get your response.
Reply through this email:email@example.com
Adam Lancy Brown.