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:
- 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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MR MARK WATSON <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 10:34:51 +0100
From: Mr. Mark Watson
My Good Friend, I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those
Funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from
Paraguay. Presently I am in Paraguay for investment projects with my own
Share of the total sum. Mean while, I didn't forget your past efforts and
Attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed
Us some how. Now contact my confidential secretary as i stated below
Follow his instructions:
Telephone number +233-2493-57295
Ask him to send you the check what of $1,500,000,00 which I kept for your
compensation for all your past efforts and attempts to assist me in this
matter and i have appreciated your past efforts at that time very much.So
feel free and get in touched with my secretary Rev. Douglas Jones and
instruct him where to send the check to you.
Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the
Joy together after all the suffering at that time you trying to help me
Out. at this moment I am very busy here because of the investment projects
Which i and my new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that i
Had forwarded instruction to my secretary on your behalf to receive the
check, so feel free to get in touch with Rev.Douglas Jones to send the
check to you without any further delay and try to be honest with him
because he is God fearing man.
With best regards,
Mr. Mark Watson