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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Cjones Capital Investment" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 13:36:04 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: LOAN OFFER
From The Desk Of The Financier Director,
Cjones Capital Investment,
Our Ref: 0010/ A.U.I
I am a UK Government registered angel investor based in Cardiff, Wales. I
have a huge amount running into Millions of United States Dollars which I
intend to invest into any lucrative project.
I am willing to offer the funding in a form of a direct loan at 4%
interest per annum, the loan will span for a period of 5 years and there
is an option for
re-investment once both of us are satisfied with the profit accrued from
the investment. I am also open to Joint Venture at 30% Return On
(R.O.I). However, the funds for my investment dealings are clean and does
not have criminal origin. The funds are clean from Terrorist and Drug
Let me know if you require funding for your business so that we can
establish a long lasting, reliable and fruitful business relationship.
I look forward to doing business with you.
Martinez Cook,(MBA PHD)