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:
- ",000,000" (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 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.
- +447031999796 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Dr GEORGE SMITH" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 04:58:09 -0800
Subject: HALIFAX OF UNITED KINGDOM
HALIFAX OF UNITED KINGDOM
FUND TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
This is to inform you that the HALIFAX BANK have now confirm your contract
fund which have been transfer to our office HALIFAX BANK UK and also we
are contacting you base on the transfer to enable our bank transfer the
$10,000,000.00, into your account, therefore you have been advice to send
your details to us as soon as you receive this massage.
INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT ATTACH TO EMAIL....................
NEXT OF KIN DETAILS...................
NOTE: You have been advice to send all this information to enable our bank
process your transfer.and as soon we receive your information and other
clarified documents your fund will be transferred in less than 3 working
days.we are assuring you this is real and genuine and don't fail to
respond as soon as you receive this email.
Waiting to receive the details.call us as soon you receive this message
Dr GEORGE SMITH
Director of fund transfer depart.
HALIFAX OF UNITED KINGDOM