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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Igor Ivanovich" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:33:46 -0400
Subject: Swift Responce Needed
Greetings from Ukraine,
Its an urgent need of a foreign partner that made me to contact you on this transaction.
Please contact me on (email@example.com) for more information.
First Ukrainian International Bank
I'm a banker working with FUIB (First Ukraine International Bank) here in Ukraine. I write to contact you over a very important transaction which will be of our interests and benefits to our both families.
It is due to the present crisis going on within/without my country, (Ukraine). For this reason, I need a foreign partner to forward the sum of 27m (Twenty Seven Million Euros) from the bank vault to your bank account for safe keeping until the crisis is over. You will also have the opportunity to receive loan from the money which will be transferred to you with no interest. For this to commence, you will be registerred legally as a long time loyal customer with my bank. After this is done, the money can be transferred to you with documentations.
Some Directors here have been trying to find out about the money and to keep it to themselves using the crisis as excuse to embezzle the most part of the money, but I have kept it closed because, I know that if they become aware they will claim the funds for themselves. Therefore, am seeking your co-operation to present you as the one to benefit from this fund until the crisis is over. I have done enough inside bank arrangement and you only have to put in your details into the information network in the bank computers and reflect you as the bearer of the fund.
If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 50% of the funds while 50% shall be for me. Kindly forward your response to me.
Mr. Igor Ivanovich
First Ukrainian International bank Ukraine