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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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: Dr.ABIODU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 5 May 2012 20:29:09 +0200
AKINTOLA WILLIAMS & CO CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS.
EXPERT IN PROFESSIONALISM.
We are professional bodies under the above umbrella and been Authorized to audit the companies that embezzled the Federal Government oil fund through fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
During our Auditing,we recovered more than $300,000,000 million u.s dollars on our professional loyalty which Federal Government is trying to query our audit internal report and has suspended us on carry out our duty,we want to re-invest the fund base on your ability of the fund you can manage.you will assist us to handle it faithfully.The transfer of the fund is obvious and quick for Federal Government not to notice and for us to maintain our reputation.
PLEASE ENCLOSE YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT,BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER,HOUSE ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER..NOTE YOU ARE TO REPLY TO THIS EMAIL(email@example.com)