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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. John Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 09:57:16 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: I am Mr. John Brown,
I am Mr. John Brown, the regional manager of the NatWest bank of London.
I would seek your consent to receive the transfer of ($8,500,000,00) Eight million Five hundred thousand United States dollars. As the regional manager of the NatWest bank; it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital London city at the end of each year. On the course of last year 2013 end of year report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made ($8,500,000,00) Eight million Five hundred thousand United States dollars. which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of. I have since place this fund on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary.
Note there are practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer, all I need from you is your genuine collaboration and to stand as the original depositor of this fund who made the deposit with our branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account.
As soon as I receive your positive response I will details you on how we can achieve this successfully.
Mr. John Brown