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)
- ",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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 08:02:22 -0800
Subject: From Mr James Melvin Stockdale Jr
I am from the Medical military unit present in Ba'qubah Iraq. I have some items which i will
need to ship to you now as we may relocate home soon. I really need some one i could confide in.
Please,can you be trusted? We found funds Stash in a barrel while on patrol ($10,000,000.00)
I need you to help move it to a safer place, please have it in mind that there is no danger involved.
Our plan is to move it out through diplomatic means; you will only have to assist on
getting the diplomatic clearance Tag on arrival of the parcel. We have the money hidden
in a safe and untraceable location only known to us.
You can check this through the enclosed news.(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm).
Once the funds get to you, you take your 30% out and keep our own.70%.
Get back to me immediately so that we discuss the delivery procedure.
James Melvin Stockdale Jr.
3rd Infantry Division,