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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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.John Coleman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:15:40 -0500 (PET)
Subject: URGENT ASSISTANCE
To whom it may concern, I kindly want to put in notice before you, my name
is Dr.John Coleman of South Africa,Before coming to India from UK I made
transfer of one million two hundred thousand pounds sterling from Halifax
Bank of Scotland through the Bank of England to the Sundry account of
Reserve bank of India for investment Purpose. Two days after my arrival in
India my partner died in a motor accident. He was to produce the account
were in I was suppose to transfer the money into As I am writing this mail
the money is still in the sundry account waiting to be transferred to a
local account so that I can invest in India fast growing economy.
presently i am seeking for a reliable and trust worthy fellow to assist me
of my late father money, which I transferred from the Bank of England to
the Reserve Bank of India, for an investment purpose.
The said amount is one million two hundred thousand Great British pound
sterling(1.2 million gbp) I have done a reasonable research and find out
that is not easy for a foreigner to have an account for such a huge
amount, so i want you as a citizen of India to assist me by producing your
account to transfer this money into your nominated bank account, and ten
percent will be offer to you for the work well done.
Please, if you are interested do contact me as soon as possible with the
1) FULL NAME
2) HOUSE AND OFFICE ADDRESSES
3) TEL/FAX NUMBERS
4) MARITAL STATUS
5) PRESENT BUSINESS/PLACE OF WORK
7) IDENTITY PROOF
8) RESIDENTIAL PROOF
As soon as i am in receipt of your reply we shall begin earnestly.
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