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:
- 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:
- ",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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. VICTORIA BALL" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "MRS. VICTORIA BALL" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 06:43:44 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR ATTENTION IS IMPORTANTLY NEEDED
This is to remind you that your fund USD $ 5,500,000.00 has
been approved for payment. We are contacting you to re-confirm your account
coordinates, so that we will NOT make wrong transfer of your fund and we would
not be held liable due to wrong disbursement of your fund. However we received
an email from one MR CHARLES E. MATSON, 2- 9225 Leslie Street, Richmond HillOntario, L4B 3H6, who told us
that he is your next of kin and that you send him to claims the funds on your
behalf, the sudden change of account details is suspicious. He has also
submitted his account information to our accounts / audit department for
transfer of the fund to his Account as your inheritor of the fund stated
We are now verifying by contacting your email address as we
have in our Bank records before we can make the transfer into her account and
for us to conclude confirmation if you are the one that send him to claim your
funds?, If you are ready to receive your first payment of usd $ 5.5 Million get
back to me with your full details below.
Your Full Name: ...................................
However, you should urgently re-confirm your full receiving
details to this email address if on the contrary, we are looking forward to
hearing from you.
MRS. VICTORIA BALL