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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Pedro Johnson" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 22:00:27 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Greetings from Mr.Pedro Johnson
>From Mr.Pedro Johnson
Citi Bank of London,
Compliments of the day. I know that this will come to you as a suprise as we have never met before, but I decided to reach you directly to solicit your assistance and Guidelines in making a business investment and transfer of £20,000.000.00 GBP to your country
I am Mr.Pedro Johnson, presently,I am a manager in Citi Bank of London United Kingdom.
I want to transfer £20,000.000.00 GBP into a safe foreigner's account abroad , but I do not know any foreigner. I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money can not be approved to a local bank here, but can only be approved to any foreigner with valid international passport or drivers license and foreign account. This is because the money is in British Pounds and the former owner of the account Late Hassan Mohammed,was a foreigner too.
With my position now in the office I can transfer this money to any foreigner's reliable account, which you can provide with assurance that this money will be intact pending my physical arrival in your country for sharing and investments which I will still need your assistance.
If you are willing to assist me in the transaction,your share will be 40% of the total sum and 60% for me. I will be pleased as soon as you indicate your interest by including your private phone and fax numbers in your positive response, this will enable me furnish you with further information on the procedures and modalities on how the funds will be transferred or made available to you.
You are the only person that I have contacted in this business, so please keep it confidential and reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take on this matter.
Kindly reply through this my private email box : firstname.lastname@example.org
Citi Bank of London,