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:
- 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:
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Churchill Moore" <backup@AXILONE-SHUNHUA.CN>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 22:56:07 -0500
Subject: URGENT REPLY
First Let me introduce myself to you, I'm Mr.Churchill Moore from London United Kingdom in-charge of all abandoned outstanding payment. likewise contract/inheritance/Lottery and compensation. your case file were forwarded to my office worth of US$14.500, 000.00 According to your case file and some other relevant document's . The United nation's has appointed me to make sure your funds gets to you within the next 72hrs and all arrangement has been perfected by me which i have transferred your funds to a reliable Bank dormant account that compare to Swiss number account for the safety of your funds to your destination.
After your response to this email I will be sending instructions to you with secret numbers. Those shall be the information you?l be making available to Platinum Private Bank for them to authenticate you as the beneficiary to the wire remittance that I made to that bank. It's that
I shall need the follow details from you to re-harmonized your case file herein my office. details below:
1) Your Full Name:
3) Your full resident home address. if you have relocated to another apartment:
4) Your Telephone Number:
5) Your Occupation:
6)Your International Passport or Business ID Card if any:
After i confirm the following details from you. i shall re-harmonized your record immediately before sending instructions to you with secret numbers that you will be making available to the Platinum private bank. kindly reply to my private mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I await to hear from you as urgent.