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:
- "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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- number is +1940-2386423 and my email address is (email@example.com) i am one of those that fall victims to scammers in africa (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. William Frost" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 11:56:33 -0700
Subject: Collect your compensation payment now
I am Mr. William Frost, I am a US citizen, 66 years Old. I reside here in Centreville Virginia U.S.A.
My residential address is as follows.14852 Rock Landing Court Centreville Virginia 20121 United States and my telephone number is +1940-2386423 and my email address is (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am one of those that fall victims to scammers in Africa two years ago. I had lost over US$74,000 + for the past years while in the US . I was trying to get my payment all to no avail. And they always stopped my funds with one reason or the order.
So I decided to travel with my Son to WASHINGTON D.C with all documents, there the (FBI) was amazed and contacted the Nigeria embassy in the US . After some hours in that office, I was asked by the FBI officer to come back the next week.
When I did the FBI officer gave me the contact of one Mrs. Maria Farnandez who is a representative of the (FBI) and a member of the compensation award committee, currently in Nigeria .
And when I contacted her she explained everything to me. She said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake that I should fly down to Nigeria to see things for myself which I did and she took me to the paying bank for the claim of my compensation payment. This was paid to me successfully. Right now I am the happiest man on earth because I have finally received my compensation funds of US$1,300,000.00. Moreover, Mrs. Maria Farnandez showed me the full Information of those that are yet to receive their compensation funds and this was how I came across only your email address and your full name.
The only Money I paid after I meet with Mrs. Maria Farnandez was just $250.00 for the ownership paper works.
So I am advising you to contact Mrs. Maria Farnandez (email@example.com ) for your own money including the money you lost or you can as well call her on her direct telephone number ( +234-70-88340950 ) please take it very serious.
Thank you & God bless you.
Mr. William Frost.
14852 Rock Landing Court, Centreville
Virginia 20121 United States