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)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Pedro Hernandez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 21:05:14 -0000
Subject: I need a Personal and Trustworthy Relationship with you.
I hope this letter meets you in good health and condition, I found your
contact id on a yellow page, and i decided to write you. My Name is Pedro
Hernandez, I am from Portugal but born and breath up in Russia, I have
been diagnosed with cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment.
Right now according to medical experts I have only few months to live. I
have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for
anyone (not even myself) but my
business. Though I was very rich but I was never generous, I was always
hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only
thing I cared about But now I regret all this as I now know that there is
more to life than just making all the money in the world. I believe if God
would give me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a
different way from how I have lived it.
I Would like to have a Personal and Trustworthy Relationship with you, as
I intend and willing to empower the change of ownership for the transfer
of the sum of (USD 11,200,680.00) to you for your personal possession for
Charity Disbursement to the Less Privileges around you and environs, Haiti
and Japanese Earthquake Victims, Homeless People, but to mention few.
Therefore, I appeal to you to write me via my mail address:
email@example.com for more details.
N/B:Kindly note that 40% of this funds must go to victims of Haiti/Japan
Earthquake , 55% to other Charity Organizations around the World and 5%
for your effort and time.
God be with you as you do so.
Mr. Pedro Hernandez.