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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "trunk box" (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)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mohammed Abdallah" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:11:12 +0100
Subject: YOUR QUICK RESPONDS IS HIGHLY NEEDED
I decided to be communicating with you with my personal email id, for the
sake of confidentiality of your transaction.
This trunk box contains US$22Million. It were deposited by Mohamed Hassan
from Libya to our Security firm for Safe Keeping. And it is bearing your
full Name as the main Beneficiary of the fund as directed by Mohamed
Hassan. We have try to locate or contact Mohamed Hassan but with no avail.
Mohamed told us that he is a revolutionary fighter. Maybe he had been
killed in the battle for liberating Libya.
I will advise you to come to Ghana, for you to see the money, as seeing is
believing, before we make arrangement to move it, to you at anywhere in the
World. However, if you do not have chance to come to Ghana, let me know,
so that we can use another alternatives way to move the funds to you at your
These business is 100% real and there is no risk. It is my desire to
release the fund to you. As you are the only legal person, who can claim
Reply soonest,by E-mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allah Bless You.