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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- 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.Albert Small" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Dr.Albert Small" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:52:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Thanks For Your Kind Consideration,
Dr. Albert Small
Mobile: + 44 7937415926
Dr. Albert small Harlsden, North West London, in England. I work at Santander Bank Corporation Of London. I am writing to you from my Office, it will be a huge benefit to both of us. In my Department, as the Deputy Chief (Greater London Regional Office), I discovered an abandoned sum of Â£ 15 million Great British Pounds (GBP 15,000,000,00) an account belonging to one of our Foreign customer late Mr. Peter Medrano,he is an American citizen, who unfortunately died in the airplane crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which crashed on January 31th, 2000, including his wife and only daughter.
ItÂ will be disbursed, or shared by percentages, 50% for me and 50% for you. I will provide all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this claim. . All i need now is your honest cooperation, confidentiality and trust to be able to see this deal through. I am sure that this will be carried out under a legal provision that protects the user from the for violation of the law.
Please give me the following: it is very very urgent PLEASE.
1. full name, 2. direct Mobile Number, 3. Contact Address. 4. Age
Having gone through a systematic search, I decided to contact you, hoping that you will find this proposal interesting. Please, in your confirmation message indicates your interest and i will provide you more information. Strives to let me know your decision as soon as possible.
Please contact me through my private email: email@example.com
Dr. Albert Small