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:
- "million dollars" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Imforg; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sandas William" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 02:19:04 -0400
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF FUND RECOVERY
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
ENGLAND , UK.
NOTIFICATION OF FUND RECOVERY
This is to officially inform you that during our Investigation with the help of American Financial Regulatory Agency [AFRA] and our other sister Intelligence Monitoring Network System we discovered an outstanding fund of 4.5 Million dollars belonging to one Mr. Andreas Schranner.We found out that this fund was placed in a suspense account.
We made contact with the last contact address of Mr. Andreas Schranner- a German property magnate and found out that he died along with his wife and daughter in the AF4590 plane crash .
PLEASE VISIT THIS SITE BELOW AND SEE THE DETAILS OF THE PLANE CRASH, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to late Mr. Andreas Schranner- the German property magnate, owner of the funds.I am contacting you to help me get the fund transferred to your country, so that we can share the fund.
There will be no problem from your side if you accept to receive this fund, as we shall share the money 50/50 when transferred to your account.
You can contact me for further information
. Reply ONLY to email@example.com
Head Monitoring Unit