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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: James Ego <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: James Ego <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 14:57:10 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONTACT HIM NOW..
Â My Dear Friend,
I apologize for sending you this information via e-mail instead of a Certified/Post-mail. I?m here to show my gratitude. You might have remember an email from me in the past regarding business transaction proposal which we never concluded due to one reason or the other best to known at that time.
It's an opportunity for me to inform you that the transaction was concluded with help of a Greek merchant who financed it to a logical conclusion. Moreover,i appreciate great effort and trust worthiness you showed, and I compensate you withone Million two hundred thousand United State Dollars(USD$1,200,000.00)i want you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
The fund (USD$1,200,000.00) is deposited in a cashier's cheque. Kindly contact Mr.Desmond Anoz for this reference and make further arrangement with him for the delivery; contact him today, I instructed him about it before I traveled. Forward my mail including your Full Name/Address and your phone Number contacts to him for the delivery.
Name: Desmond AnozEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone No: +22999794151.
May God bless you.Sincerely,Mr James Ego.