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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin 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: "Dr. Paul Konan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 04:21:07 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Good day
How are you today hope all is well with you and your families. Im
delighted to communicate you under this measure in respect to a business
proposal that I have for you. Yes I know that my communication with you
will appear as a surprise to you because we have not met or known each
other before but due to my urgent need for a Foreigner whom I can confide
on that made me to this decision of communicating you not minding that we
never met before.
I am Dr. Paul Konan a banker by profession I am the bill and exchange
manager in my bank. In my unit here in the bank, I discover a left over
funds and have watched this funds for many years now with no attempt for
claim and in few months from now it complete the number of years that such
leftover funds will be conveyed to the Government treasury as an abandoned
fund if nobody present for the claim.
The amount in position is $28 million USD I have putting all the tress
towards this funds and discovered that the beneficiary died along with his
supposed next of kin in an air crash at Kenya on July 21th 2003. Please,
visit this website below for more information about the Plane Crash and
the tragic death of the deceased and his entire family, Late DR. GEORGE
My reason of this communication to you is this. I want you to stand with
me lets claim the funds and share to ourselves if the business interest
you, I want you to provide an account that these funds will be transfer
to. With my position in the bank here, we will claim the money without
any problem I guarantee you for this but please if the business does not
interest you kindly delete this message and forget everything about it.
I will expect reading from you for further information on how to proceed
to the next stage if the business
Dr. Paul Konan.