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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: Mary John <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mary John <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:21:43 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: MRS. MARY JOHN
Dear friend.Â Â Â Â Â
Greetings to you and your family, I am the manager of bill and exchange in THE BANK, I have a business of 5.5 Million United State Dollars to be transfer to your account for investment in your country, if you are ready to assist me get back to me, I will give you full details on how the fund will be transfer to you. Be rest assured that everything will be handled confidentially because, this is a great opportunity we cannot afford to miss, as it will make our family profit a lot. It has been 7 years ago, that most of the greedy African Politicians used our bank to launder money overseas through the help of their Political advisers.
Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of Africa were gold and oil money that was supposed to have been used to develop the continent.
Â The Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity to divert part of the fund worth five million five hundred united state dollars I told you about and I am aware that there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers of fund at that particle time were closed after transfer.
I am the account officer to most of the politicians and when I discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act, I also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one cared to ask me for the money was too much for them to control, as I am sending this message to you, I was able to divert five point five Millions Dollars ($5.5M)which is in an escrow transit account belonging to no one in the bank, and now my bank is very anxious to know the real beneficiary of the funds is for they have made a lot of profits with the fund.
Â It has been more than Seven years ago and most of the politicians are no longer in power again and they donât use our bank to transfer funds overseas anymore since their tenure had expired.
The $5.5 Million United State Dollars has been lying in the bank as unclaimed fund and I will soon retire from the bank immediately the fund is transfer into your account over there. Immediately the fund has been successfully transfer into your account I will come to your country for the sharing of the fund, the fund will be shared 50% for me and 40% for you, and the other 10% for the orphanages home and poor with less-privilege people. Please know that there is no one that is going to question you about the fund if you will comply with me and follow my instruction which will help us a lot to achieve this goal for everything is well secured. Please indicate your interest in this transaction by replying back and if you are not interested do not waste your time to reply kindly delete my message from your box ok.
Reply Please Please Email (Â firstname.lastname@example.org ) Waiting to hear from you soon.Â Â