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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Moses Reid <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 00:40:09 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Greetings from U.S.A
WASHINGTON. DC,JUL 27 2012
My name is Garry M. Reid, amember of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); It will interest you to knowthat I have nominated you as my beneficiary to receive USD$10,000,000 (TenMillion Dollars) which I want to keep safely in your account and or anyoverseas account under your supervision.
My desire and purpose is to have you invest this US$10,000,000 in any lucrativebusiness in your country and retain the funds until my retirement which iscoming-up in the next 3 years.
Bear in mind that this is a legitimate transaction, and the only reason whystrict privacy is advised, is that the result of restrictions of the civilservice laws in the United States.
Please indicate if you have any profitable business to invest thisUS$10,000,000 for these 3 years, and let me know the type of business and theprofit.
To certify the legitimacy of this message, I will want us to schedule a liveone on one WEBCAM chat through SKYPE or MSN to enable us discusses the detailsof this venture.
Please provide a SKYPE or MSN Messenger ID in a return mail and time to meetyou online today or tomorrow.
My SKYPE ID is: garryreid48
MSN/YAHOO MESSENGER: garryreid48
Kindly acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail message at your earliestconvenient.
GARRY M. REID
Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Special Operations & Combating Terrorism
Pentagon, Washington DC, USA