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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- we have stand by buyers for this items. reply us via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com we await for your reply asap (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Ste Dinky link SL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 18:06:33 +0100
Subject: Reply for cooperations.
Thank you for the recommendations from the Trade Directory Benin
Republic via commercial search.
we are ready to start up a business coperations with you. to start with we
could like you to confirm if you will be willing to export to us in africa
if yes confirm to us the products which you can be able to supply to us
as there are high demand of products in Benin republic and within
Africa.as we are interested to buy and
work with you on your ready products/list etc for new 2014 year sales.etc
could you be kind to give us the price list of the avaible items as to
meet back our strong buyers. we have stand by buyers for this items. reply
us via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org we await for
your reply asap with the prices and packings etc.
01 bp 4483 central post.