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:
- 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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- 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)
- number……….. contact person: james uche email address: firstname.lastname@example.org tel no : 2348020999313 please do let me know immediately (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Rev Dr Chima Beko <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 05:48:03 -0800
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope
this mail meets you in a perfect condition. You may not understand why
this mail came to you. But if you do not remember me, you might have
received an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar
business proposal which we never concluded.
I am using this opportunity to inform you that the
multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with another person
who financed it to a logical conclusion. I thank you for your great
effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one
reason or the other best known to you.But I want to inform you that I
have successfully transferred the fund out of the bank to my new
partner account in London that was capable of assisting me in this
Due to your effort sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed
during the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show
my gratitude to you with the sum of $850,000.00. I have left an
international certified bank draft for you worth $850,000.00 cashable
anywhere in the world.
Now contact my personal secretary I left the check with him, do
furnish him with your full contact details such as thus:
(1) Full names
(2) house address
(3) Telephone/fax number
CONTACT PERSON: JAMES UCHE
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel No : 2348020999313
Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share
the joy together after all the effort at that time. In the moment, I
am very busy here in Uk because of the investment projects, which the
new partner and I have at hand. So feel free to get in touch with Mr
JAMES UCHE to send the check to you without any delay.
Rev Dr Chima Beko