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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- 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: Official Dept <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:36:53 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Payment notice -- (code 980)
Dear Sir /Madam,
I am Mr. Adams Johnson, a World Bank representative in Nigeria, going by series of petition received from International body on the way your inheritance/contract fund of US$3,500,000.00 was handled by our correspondence office. After extensive close door meeting with Board of Directors and other stake holders in the Government, subcommittees of the House of Assembly and the House of Representative, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It was resolved and agreed upon that your Contract/Inheritance fund would be released on a special method of payment, which tag Name reads SWIFT CREDIT CARD. This method of payment is designed by the Government to avert fraud perpetration or stoppage of fund by some agencies either through Anti Terrorist Certificate or other certificates. This Swift Credit Card would be issued to you upon meeting with the Bank Requirements.
This office has been mandated to take charge of the issuance of the SWIFT CREDIT CARD, and that your inheritance/contract payment file of US$3,500,000.00 should be passed to my desk for clarification. Upon certification that your file is ok this office would direct you on how to receive your over due
inheritance/contract fund via SWIFT CREDIT CARD.
Your Next of Kin Name
Date of Birth
Your telephone number Mobile and fax
A copy of your passport
Urgently furnish this office with your contact information in order to reconfirm if it's in line with the one contained in our payment data. Be informed that your fund has been called back and it's now in suspense
account here in Our Bank. A new account has to be opened in your Name before the Swift Credit Card is issued and sent to you.
Waiting for an urgent response via may private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Adams Johnson