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:
- 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Engr Barkindo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012 14:22:37 +0100
Subject: Waiting For Your Response
I am Engr.M.S Barkindo,a former Group Managing Director of the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)please i need your
assistance/co-operation involving a very strict and confidential
transaction, which involves the transfer of a reasonable sum of money
to your account.
The amount is $25,700,000.00 US Dollars(Twenty Five Million Seven
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only),this money represent the
surplus from an over invoiced valued contract awarded by my office and
executed for our corporation while i was in charge, which has since
been completed and the original contractor fully paid. I now seek your
assistance to secure this surplus amount as stated above to your
personal /company,s account so that the money would be mutually
invested to our benefit in your country/business and could be shared
as will be agreed upon. I assure you that this transaction is risk
Every machinery has been set in motion for a smooth and quick
conclusion of this transaction.However, I would wish to receive your
personal assurance that you are not going to sit on this money when
you take possession of this money. More importantly,you are to keep
this transaction very confidential.I shall need your full
names,address/company address, telephone/mobile number.Please you are
only required to respond if you are sure of carrying out this
transaction and you can be trusted regarding the confidentiality this
transaction requires and please note that you will be expected to deal
directly with me and no other person and you are please advised to
respond if you are sure that you will give this transaction the
sincerity and urgency it deserves.
Further details will made available to you as soon as your response
is received.Your urgent reply is awaited.