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:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR PETER SAND" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2012 14:23:57 +0800
Subject: Re: IMMEDIATE PAYMENT
RE: IMMEDIATE PAYMENT REMITTANCE
This is to notify you that your over due entitlement fund has been gazetted to be released in which an indoor meetings were held between my governments,
International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Auditors, representatives of the Asian Countries, European Union and American Congress respectively concerning
It generated an interest of US$ 15.5 Million united state dollars, which we are about to pay to you via Special Bank Instrument directly to your account on the
instruction from the Government.
Be informed that your name was stipulated under the category "A" awaiting the receipt of his payment therefore; you are advised as a matter of urgency, to
reconfirm the following details:
YOUR FULL NAMES
TELEPHONE / FAX NUMBERS
MOBILE PHONE and
Note that if you have received this message by (electronic email sending error) to your system; kindly help us by informing us to enable us sort this out as my
office has been instructed by the Government to take the issues of the release of all payment owed to foreign beneficiaries very serious.
It will interest you to know that as soon as we receive the above details, we will commence with all needed necessary procedures and issue all payments
details to you, in other to approve the release of your long over due entitlement fund, I want you to understand that this arrangement supersedes all
the previous arrangements given to you.
Nevertheless, if we do not hear from you within the next seven (7) working days from today, it shall attract indefinite postponement of your payment and my
government will not be blamed for such action, any question should be directed to this office.
The Government is sorry for any inconvenience the delay in releasing your entitlement fund must have caused you as a result of unprofessional services
rendered by the banking and financial institutes and that is our aim of objective.
MR PETER SAND