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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "top secret" (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.
- 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: "Mr. Thomas Maleke" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:30:30 -0400
Subject: VERY URGENT
From: Mr. Thomas Maleke
My name is MR. THOMAS MALEKE from South Africa but works with the
British high commission. In view of my position as introduced and
explained, I have this privileged information for you out of sympathy
to save your fund from a big problem, which will ruin your fund
payment at your bank by the USA monitoring agents.
THE BACKGROUND OF THIS REASONS it may interest you to know that fund
transfer irregularities and misconduct of huge sums of money out of
Nigeria during the Military era has created suspicions on any movement
of large amount, which is to be routed through Nigeria. For this
reason, the new House of Government under the leadership of Senator
David MARK (Senate President) has formed a committee on
Finance/Economic matters. This Committee was mandated to deliberate on
all fund movement above $5,000,000.00 USD and also to recover all
suspected funds. Consequently, our organization has been mandated to
assist to monitor all fund movement out of Nigeria.
Therefore, this letter is highly confidential and top secret. For this
reason, you must not inform anybody about this letter or my contact
with you. You must keep my relationship with you to be topped secret
and highly confidential. If you can follow my advice and guidance, I
will inform you the only way out for the dispatch of your fund
peacefully without any seizure by either your bank or the US
Monitoring Agencies to know. But if you ignore my advice, your fund
movement by bank transfer will surely hit a brick wall and you will
keep spending money and time with energy and without any success until
you forfeit the whole amount, which will be deferred at that time for
a seizure when the Monitoring Unit will adopt the motion for seizure.
The September 11th 2001 bombing of the WTC in USA has compelled a
strict monitoring and checks on all huge sums of money around the
globe. For this reason, the security Network in USA has requested us
here in Nigeria to investigate your fund, which has been routed for
1. The real source of your fund.
2. Your funds background on Foreign Bills of entries.
In pursuit of that, I discovered so many anomalies, which may create
the security network for seizure of your fund. And your bank may start
asking, which may even put the bank into a big problem for suspicions
by the USA Security Network as a bank that keeps Terrorist fund. I am
writing this letter out of sympathy and I am willing to assist you and
avoid any danger to the successful conclusion. In order for me to help
you, the following are my conditions:
1. You must keep my relationship with you highly secret/confidential.
2. You must not expose all the above information to anybody.
3. You must be willing to act fast on any information, directives and
advice from me.
But if you expose this information, I will be compelled to do the
right report and in that case, you will blame yourself. The method for
you to receive this fund is by cash at your doorstep, which I will
deliver to you at your address. Further details on this arrangement
will be furnished to you as soon as I have received your comments to
carry on. By then, I will be in a good position to explain to you more
on how to carry out the mission.
As soon as I receive your response, First I will scan and send you my
international diplomatic passport and I will give you more on the way
of such arrangements and I will also inform you our percentage that
you will be required to give us as soon as we have handed over the
fund to you at your address. Therefore, further details will be
furnished to you and my identity will be forwarded as soon as I
receive your reply, please reply me back on this email:
Mr. Thomas Maleke