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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Tomas Bjarland <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 14:37:46 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Urgent From Tomas...
My name is Sergeant Thomas Bjarland.
I am a Finnish soldier with the background of America, serving in the armed forces Army 173rd Airborne Brigade and UN military observer in Syria. With the urgent need of your help, I have summed value to you. I found your contact information in an electronic diary. I seek your kind assistance to move the sum of ($ 20,000,000.00 million) Twenty Million Dollars for you, so you can be assured that my share will be safe in his care. this is not stolen money, and there is no danger involved.
Source of money:
Some money in various currencies was discovered in containers in a farm house hidden behind the false wall near one of Hafez al-Assad in ancient palaces Azm Palace in Damascus Syria during a rescue operation. I and Sergeant Edmond Ryan take a share of this money and split between the two before informing anybody about it since both of us saw the money first agreed on it. This was an illegal much to do, but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risk we have taken in our lives in this hell of a bomb that killed my best friend last week.
The above figure was given to me as my share, so with the help of a contact British observer working here and his office enjoy some immunity, I was able to get the package to a safe place, completely out of focus problems. He does not know the actual contents of the package, and believes that Europe belongs to a doctor doctor who died in a raid here in Syria, and before giving up, trusted me to hand over the package to his family in Europe.
We will share in proportion of 30% for your self and 70% for myself that will be safe in their hands. in fact, when you contact me I'll tell you things and position details.