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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- +447024020418 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Michael rake <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:09:54 +0100
Subject: Investment Beneficiary Needed
Attention Dear Friend,
I am Sir. Micheal Rake, Fund Manager, Hemscott Group Limited, and the World
Largest Funds management with over 1.2 Trillion GBP Capital Investment
Funds.Nevertheless, as Hemscott Group Limited Director, I handle all our investors
Direct Capital Funds and secretly extract 3.2% Excess Maximum Return Capital
Profit (EMRCP) per annul on each of investor's Magellan Capital Funds. As an
expert, I have made over 9.8million GBP from the investors EMCRP and here by
looking for some one to trust who can stand as an investor to receive the funds
as annual Investment Proceeds from Hemscott Magellan Capital Funds.All confirm
able documents to back up this claim will be made available to you prior to your
Meanwhile, I have worked out the strategies and technicalities where the funds
can be claimed in any of our 6 clearing houses without any hitch .Our sharing
ratio will be 50-50 while expenses Shall be incurred as per each capability
during the process of transaction. Should in case you are interested;
please email me your direct telephone number for discussion of this deal in further details.
Sir Michael Rake
Hemscott Group Limited