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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "STODDARD LAWRENCE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 16:38:32 +0800
Subject: I Solicit Your Strict Assistance
Hope you are doing great,i am sorry for barging into your privacy without any prior invitation or having solicited for such transaction,out of necessity i had to contact you on this transaction.
I am contacting you to help transfer the fund of my late client,Mr Pablo Bogarin who died years back without any prior written/verbal will.I happened to be his chief accounting officer,this said client deposited the sum of £52,954,000.00 (Fifty Two Million Nine Hundred And Fifty Four Thousand British Pounds Sterling) has been floating without anyone coming for it.The account was opened in 2008 and he died in 17th April 2009 without a (written or oral WILL) and till March 2010 nobody has operated on this account.
Subsequent to my personal investigation i found out that he was single before his death and he died of heart attack.I had to make a swift transfer of the money to another country for safety purposes,now i needed a foreigner who could help transfer the fund to his country for investment,this is as a matter of urgency that deserved utmost confidentiality and commitment.
Kindly get back to me if you are interested as i have personally contracted an attorney who will help procure all requisite legal documents in your name as a back-up,while you are to liaise with the bank after all legal documents are ready in your names.Thanks as i look forward hearing from.