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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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: "Ene Gheorghe Esq" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 09:50:55 -0700
Subject: Get Back To Me
Dear email owner,
I am a consultant in my sub - region with wide experience in international relationship and a legal practitioner at law to a deceased Immigrant property Magnate, hereinafter also referred to as my client.
I obtained your address particulars from an Internet address listing, and hence I contacted you in confidence on this very urgent and confidential proposition that is of mutual benefit to us all.
I would like you to stand as the NEXT OF KIN to my client (NAME WITHELD), who made some deposits which has a value of US$4,365,000.00 (Four Million Three Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand United States Dollars) in an offshore account with a bank (NAME WITHELD). My client died without any registered NEXT OF KIN and because of Attorney-Client Confidentiality which is a Valued Bond Between attorney- Client, and While lawyers often are valued for such canine-like attributes as aggression, persistence and even viciousness, loyalty is our most essential attribute. With confidentiality, it represents a type of legal Hippocratic oath: that we will do no harm to our clients and as such the funds now have an open beneficaiary mandate.
If you are interested, please indicate your positive interest immediately so that i can give you comprehensive details on what we are to do for us to proceed if not please ignore.
Remember this is absolutely confidential and legal.
Your earliest response to this mail will be highly appreciated.
Ene. Gheorghe (Esq.)
Send response via email to: email@example.com
+1 800 ENEG