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:
- 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:
- "affidavit of claim" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "David Cameron" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 13:05:22 -0700
Subject: Attention ATM Card Beneficiary =
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
TREASURY AND MINISTER FOR CIVIL SERVICE,
Attention ATM Card Beneficiary,
We received a sworn affidavit of claim from one Mr. Frank Anderson, stating that he was given an irrevocable power by you through the District Courts in New Zealand to receive your ATM Card Number 4000-0807-0620-0002 worth £900,000.00 (Nine Hundred Thousand, Great British Pounds Sterling), He stated categorically that the ATM Card should be delivered to him with the below address in New Zealand as your next of kin.
Address: 60 Paraite Road, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Did you authorize Mr. Frank Anderson to receive your ATM Card With the light of the above, after 10 working days and still NO response from you to know if really you authorized Mr. Mr. Frank Anderson to receive your ATM Card on your behalf as your next of kin, this office will have no other option than to deliver the same ATM Card to Mr. Frank Anderson with the above address in New Zealand .
The Prime Minister of United Kingdom