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:
- "million united states 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Kathleen Micheals" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 04:15:50 -0700
Subject: Attention Funds Receiver
United Nations Investigationn Office
Cotonue-Republic of Benin
Attention Funds Receiver
This is to verify if you have received your $2.5 million united states dollars that deposited with the federal reserve bank new york, USA. During our investigation, we gathered that your inherittance/ Lottery winnings has been long delayed due to currupt practises by the then paying bank (HSBC BANK)
You are hereby required to stop all communication with anyone or group as regards this your funds transfer, and forcus on this process to have your funds paid directly to you without any delays.
Kindly provide the required information below:
Age/ Sex/ Occupation:
Direct mobile number:
Be rest assured that once your positive response is received, your funds transfer will be done within the next 48 hours without any fees required.You can use my private box Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Kathleen Micheals
Tel:+229 673 11427