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:
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "Sgt.Henning Hansen" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 22:39:03 -0300
I hope my email meets you well. I am in need of your assistance. My name
is SGT Henning Hansen. I am in the Engineering military unit here in
Ba'qubah in Iraq, we have some amount of funds that we want to move out
of the country.
My partners and I need a good partner someone we can trust. It is oil
money and legal.Basically since we are working for the government we
cannot keep these funds, but we want to transfer and move the funds to
you, so that you can keep it for us in your safe account or an offshore
But we are moving it through Diplomatic means, to send it to your house
directly or a bank of your choice using Diplomatic Courier Service.The
most important thing is that can we trust you? Once the funds get to
you, you take your 30% out and keep our own 70%. Your own part of this
deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. Our own
part is sending it to you.If you are interested i will furnish you with
But the whole process is simple and we must keep a low profile at all
times. Waiting for your urgent response via
This business is risk free.