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 beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447010057132 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 23:55:11 +0530
Subject: Mr. Odesah Craig
Mr. Odesah Craig.
#5 park road.
Plot 16 block D flat4
This message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it all just my
urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact you for this
transaction. i got your contact from yahoo tourist search while i was
searching for a foreign partner. i assured of your capability. and
reliability to champion this business opportunity when I prayed to good
GOD about you
I am a banker by profession in United Kingdom, And currently holding the
post of assistant foreign remittance director in our bank. i have the
opportunity of transferring the left over funds £3,000,000,00(Three
Million Great British Pounds) of
one of my bank clients who died along with his entire family in a plane
I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared
between us in the ratio of 60/40% if you agree to my business proposal.
Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i
receive your return mail immediately you receive this letter.
Please indicate your willingness by sending the below information for more
clarification and easy communication.
Contact me via my private email: email@example.com
1.YOUR FULL NAME..........
3.YOUR MOBILE CONTACT NUMBER.........
4.YOUR DATE OF BIRTH.......(AGE).............
7.YOUR COMPANY NAME.................
10.YOUR MARITAL STATUS.........
11.HOW MANY KIDS........
Hoping to hear from you immediately
Mr. Odesah Craig.