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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Faustin Dogan" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 04:10:25 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Dear Respectful,
Greetings in the name of God. i am Faustin Dogan from Sierra Leone the
only son of late Engineer Dogan, i am writing you from Rep ofCote d'Ivoire
where i Have been taking refuge after the brutal war and Murder of my
parents by the rebels during the renewed Fighting in our country Sierra
Because of the war my late Father sold his shipping company and took me to
a nearby country Cote d'Ivoire where he deposited US$18, 300,000.00
Million(Eighteen Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in
his foreign account with one of the prime bank here
Please i have prayed before contacting you with the trust in God that you
will be of help to me and coupled with the current political situation in
Cote d'Ivoire now, I am honourably seeking for your assistance to transfer
this Money to your account for a good investment Project in your country,
(1) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 20years.
(2) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my
Education and to secure a resident permit in your country
i am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum for Your assistance and in
no way connected with any illegal transaction, Please Help me to get out
of this terrible situation and our Almighty God will bless you .Contact me
on my private email adress : firstname.lastname@example.org
Fill your full information so that i will proceed to the bank first thing
Your full name.......
Your Telephone number ans Fax number......
Your Identity Passport or id card.......