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:
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 17:05:07 +0000
Subject: ARE YOU STILL ALIVE??
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Debts Reconciliation Committee
Federal Capital Territory,
Wuse 2 Abuja-Nigeria.
We wish to officially confirm to you if you authorized one Mr.Bobby Appealgate . of No: 1301 ST.Anthony Lane Petaluma CA, USA as your NEXT OF KIN to claim your compensation approved payment of Ten Million And Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars($10.5M USD)
Mr.Bobby Appleagate forwarded to us the above information claiming that you instructed him to claim your $10.5M USD on your behalf.
We are trying to avoid ant mistake in order not to put us into trouble
As a matter of urgency, you are required to re-confirm to us the information stated below:
Your Full Name:
Your Detail Contact Address
Your Direct Cell Phone Number.
Your International ID
Once we receive from you the reconfirmation of the above listed information, Your payment will be processed and the payment details and MODES will be send to you without delay for you to choose your own way or mode of receiving your payment.
You are to reply this letter before 24hour or this FUND PAYMENT will be send to Mr.Bobby Appealgate your Next of Kin as he stated because silent we called acceptance.
Thanks for your Understanding,
For: Debts Reconciliation Committee.