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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mark Stacey" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2012 18:24:21 -0400
Subject: GREETINGS FROM A DEAR FRIEND..
I contacted you some time ago in respect to the funds transfer of my deceased client. I want to sincerely thank you for your help initially although you backed out thinking that the funds transfer was illegal and a scam. Well, everything was legit and went well, the funds transfer was a success with the help of my new partner. As I initially promised you, I have instructed my partner (Mr. Jose Mendes) to transfer your 10%. That is, the sum of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand USD ($3,500,000.00) to you via telex transfer to your specified bank account.
Please email and contact my partner asap with Your full Name, Telephone/Mobile phone number and Contact address.
His name is Mr. Jose Mendes
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
He will guide and give you all the help you need in claiming your fund from the paying bank. Hope to hear from you today.