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 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.
- 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: "Goodman" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 07:56:08 +1000
Subject: READ AND REPLY NOW!!
MY NAME IS FIDEL A.GOODMAN, A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM,I AM AN ATTORNEY BY PROFESSION.
I HAVE THIS FUND WORTH THE TONE OF $15.5M[FIFTEEN MILLION,FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND
UNITED STATES DOLLAR].
THIS FUND HAVE BEEN IN THE SECURITY VAULT HERE IN LONDON FOR 3 YEARS.I HAVE
TRIED TO SHIFT IT TO ASIA AS I WANT TO INVEST IN SOUTH EAST ASIA OR ANY OTHER PART
OF ASIA WITH THIS FUND,WITH THE HELP OF A PARTNER FROM ASIA.
BUT UNFORTUNATELY,THE PERSON[MY PARTNER] THAT IS SUPPOSED TO STAND AS THE
BENEFICIARY/CLAIMER OF THE MENTIONED FUND WITH MY APPROVAL CAME UP WITH GREED AS
WE AGREED INTIALLY THAT I WILL COMPENSATE HIM WITH 15% AND NOW HE IS DEMANDING
30%,SO I HAVE TO STOP COMMUNICATING WITH HIM AND ORDERED THE DELIVERY OFFICER NOT
TO CONTACT HIM.
THAT MEANS:THE FUND IN QUESTION IS NOW NEAR YOUR COUNTRY IN THE CUSTODY OF
THE DELIVERY OFFICER WAITING FOR SOMEONE THAT I WILL APPOINT/APPROVE TO CONTACT HIM
AND MAKE THE CLAIMS OF THE FUND.
I WANT YOU TO STAND NOW AS THE RECEIVER/CLAIMER AND RECEIVE THIS FUND,I WILL COMPENSATE
YOU WITH THE 15% OF THE FUNDAS SOON AS IT IS IN YOUR POSSESSION.
PLEASE GET BACK TO ME AND INDICATE YOUR INTEREST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO I CAN GIVE
YOU FULL DETAILS OF THE TRANSACTION.
REPLY TO :firstname.lastname@example.org
FIDEL GOODMAN ESQ.