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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barriste. Kennedy Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2012 14:18:57 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Fund Compensation.
I am a delegate from the IMF (International Monetary Fund Benin Republic GOV) FINANCIAL-BANK of Benin Office will pay just (6 SCAM VICTIMS $400,000 USD each).
You are listed and approved for this payment; try Contact Financial-Bank Office as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your $400,000 USD. Foreword your full details to Financial-Bank Office listed below.
Contact: Mr. Moche Anderson
Financial-Bank Benin Republic 24/7
Your full Name:_________
Preferred Payment Method (Bank-Transfer)
Financial BANK Benin Republic