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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 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.
- +447024070361 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Edward Jerry <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:15:19 +0100
Subject: Money Transfer
Re: Bank Payment Notification/Wire Transfer Approvals
wish to inform you that you have been recommended by my bank Morgan
Stanley Bank International Limited UK , to pay you the sum of
($10,500,000.00 Million Dollars) which is based on the understanding and
current proposed legislative payment agreement. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank as a member of the financial services compensation scheme
established under the financial services and market act 2000 as at 31
Dec, The Bank is subjected to pay all outstanding debts within the
European Economic Areas and Deposits denominated in all currencies and
treated alike. To ensure we carry out our normal payment procedures
accurately and to help in continually improve our services and interest
of security; we therefore demand that you send your proper identity to
confirm your person as the beneficiary. We shall also require you to
confirm your acceptance to receive funds.
Please indicate correct
telephone number, address and receiving Bank details. Any information
that is not correct may likely prohibit us from making transfer. Your
information will be treated with utmost security and shall be used for
services related reasons. We would like to inform you that our Bank
shall be making transfer to your account once we have received your full
acceptance replying this mail. We shall open an online account in your
name with our Bank and then shall provide you with e-online Bank details
to enable you make online transfer if you wish. Email: email@example.com
Mr. Edward Jerry