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:
- "million united state 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Joseph Robert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 17:40:42 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Hello Dear,
I am Joseph Robert Only Son of Mr. Pascal Robert the late Minister of petroleum of Ivory Coast I am 19 years old, before the death of my late father in my Country's political War he deposited the sum of ($2,000,000,00 million United State Dollars) in one of the commercial Banks, but now that he is dead I want to invest this money In your Country in any profitable business and I want you to help me receive this money in your account as my foreign partner and guardian, I will offer you 20% of the total money for your kind assistance to me after the successful transfer to your account; reply or call me at +22557009654, for more clarifications before we continue the transfer to your bank account,
Read this news in the website so that you will understand exactly what I am telling you about the War in my Country (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/cotedivoire/)
Looking forward to your urgent reply