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:
- "a security company " (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. )
- ",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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Johnson Matthew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Johnson Matthew <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:48:32 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Investment offer,
I am Mr. Johnson Matthew, working with United Nation in
Juba South Sudan. We have a deal in our office we can
run together. A colleagues of mine Mr. Joshua Williams,
who was posted to Juba International Airport, where the
United Nations aircraft that was carrying Relief materials
and five boxes of cash money of USD.$50,000,000:00, in
each box is the sum of USD.$10,000,000:00, when the
aircraft was attacked and looted by the rebel, he deviated
one box out the five boxes, he managed to move the one
box to a security company in Juba South Sudan.
Now the only thing I want from you is your full name, your
contact address and your phone/mobile numbers, so that your
name will be used to do the change of ownership in your name
and a backup of South Sudan high Court affidavit. We are ready
to move this cash fund to you in country, so that we can use this
money for investment in your country.We are ready to give youÂ 40% of the total sum.Please I am waiting to hear from you soonest
United Nations Mission HQ.
P.O Box 29 Juba 081111
Republic of South Sudan