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:
- "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)
- "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 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 RUBEN MAXWELL" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:05:04 -0700
Subject: You Will Have to Receive your transfer Through AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK OF BENIN Within 24hrs
Attention: Dear Beneficiary
This is to notify you That your funds valued One Million Five Hundred Thousand united states dollars (U.S.
$1,500,000.00) has been released today to the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK OF BENIN.
For your convenience, You Will Have to Receive your transfer Through AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK OF BENIN Within 24hrs by
the use of their online banking system which you will do by yourself to your local account.
By this method, You Will monitor the movement of the local funds online till your account is duly credits. Contact the
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK OF BENIN to Provide personnel with the login details so You Can commence the transfer by
Dr.Usman Bello AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT
BANK OF BENIN EMAIL :(firstname.lastname@example.org)
SINCERELY, Mr.Ruben Maxwell