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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "required fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045752371 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. CHARLES STANLEY" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 13:16:44 -0000 (GMT)
Subject: Dear Fund Trustee
Dear Fund Beneficiary:
Regarding my previous notification to you of a deadline date of 23rd of August
2011, for the transfer of the Graham Robert fund amounting to the sum of
(155,600,000.00 USD) to your online account, I have again been directed by my
chambers to inform you as a way of reminder of the need to act according to the
deadline date directives and ensure to meet all the requirements of the
transferring bank latest 23rd August 2011 as that is the deadline date for the
completion of the Graham Robert fund to your account.
Note that you are at this point advised to proceed and pay all outstanding
charges as was directed by the transferring bank, to ensure that the account
setup process is complete and the fund is transferred to your account latest
23rd of August. Note that this is the only way the Graham Robert fund can be
transferred to your online account, the bank insisted that the required fee must
be paid on your part to enable them proceed as I currently cannot afford to help
cover the fee due to my financial state that was caused by this transaction.
I await swift response to this email
+44 70457 52371
+44 70457 52368