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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.SMITH TAMBO" (may be fake)
Reply-To: < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 01:22:30 +0530
Subject: KIND ASSTANCE!!!
To whom it may concern, I kindly want to put in notice before you, my name
is Mr.Smith Tambo a citizen of South Africa, I am in Mumbai -India
presently seeking for a reliable and trust worthy fellow to assist me of my
late father money, which I transferred draft from the Bank of England to the
Reserve Bank of India, for an investment purpose.
The said amount is three point two million usd ($3.2 million) I have done a
reasonable research and find out that is not easy for foreigner to have an
account for such a huge amount, so i want you as a citizen of India to
assist me by transfer this draft into your nominated bank account, and ten
percent will be offer to you for the work well done.
Please, if you are interested do contact me as soon as possible. For proper
verification here are the contact numbers. Thanks for co. operation.
My personal number: +919769402961.