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:
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
- 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: "Mr.Ingabritah Denis" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr.Ingabritah Denis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 15:18:59 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: AN ONLINE BANKING ACCOUNT HAS BEEN CREDITED IN YOUR FAVOR,
AN ONLINE BANKING ACCOUNT HAS BEEN CREDITED IN YOUR FAVOR,
I am hereby writing to inform you that the government of Benin Republic has today afternoon deposit your inheritance $7.5 Million united state dollars with this bank. The government had a clear mandate to open an account in your name with the bank and set up an on-line transfer that you will use to transfer the funds into your personal account.
However, the government deposited your funds to the bank. The bank has finally opened an account in your name. Be advice that the bank has already created on-line transfer with the account that opened in your favor this afternoon. And the $7.5 Million of funds has been transferred to the account that my bank open in your favor. The on-line banking account details are follows.
You are to reconfirm your full information
YOUR FULL NAME..............
YOUR HOME ADDRESS...........
YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.......
After this then we can show you how to make use and withdraw your funds without any problem, all you need to is fill above gaps correctly, Be fast so that we can give your BANK TRANSFER ACCESS CODE TODAY.
AWAITING YOUR URGENT REPLY. OR YOU CALL US WITH THIS PHONE NUMBER +229 99-92-01-31
Head of operation manager