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 united states 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Svetlana Jovanovska" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:18:37 +0100
I got your contact while making inquiry for reliable person that will
stand for charitable organization in any part of the word, the reason
behind this work is based on the fact that my husband and my only son
died in the crash on the 7th of September 1998.
I have been living alone since then. I discovered the sum of Fifteen
Million United States Dollars deposited by my husband in a bank and
hence I resolved to look for a foreigner provided he/she will donate to
Orphanage homes in local areas of his or her country. This is because I
have been suffering of cancer of the breast for the past 6yrs.
I will send a letter of authorization to the bank where the funds was
deposited to release the amount to you as the new appointed beneficiary
upon the receipt of the below information.
1. Full Names:
2. Full Address:
4. Mobile number
5. Your Age:
6. Any Kind of Identification.
Mrs. Svetlana Jovanovska