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:
- "search for a reliable person" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Capt. Rodante Talagtag" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 10:00:56 -0400
From: Capt. Rodante B. Talagtag
Good day to you,
With all due respect, permit me for bumping into your privacy, taking into consideration the manner and
medium with which I have initiated this contact, but I will appeal to you to give me the benefit of the doubt.
I am Capt. Rodante B. Talagtag, from Phillippines I got your contact in my search for a reliable person to
handle what I am about to bring before you.
It sounds so strange to hear that one will be searching for a prospective business acquaintance, which was
exactly what I have done, because the situation necessitated it. I am in total and absolute control of a
portfolio that could be of mutual benefit to the two of us, if we are able to come to an agreement to work
together, i will give you the details regarding the business i like us to invest in or better still if you have any
idea of good business we can invest on in your country. As you know the nature of my job that i am always
in ship on the sea and i need a trust worthy person who will be open minded and ready to assist me in this
Please note that this fund that is not connected with arms, drugs or money laundering. It is the product
payment of the deal I executed with some oil dealer. I need your help me to receive this fund and invest it in
your country, please note that your share will be 30% of the said amount. Please get back to me immediately
if you are interested for the commencement transaction.
Capt Rodante B. Talagtag