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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "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)
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Bella Ochenu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Bella Ochenu <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:23:16 +0000 (UTC)
I got your email address from the internet business search while looking for some one whom i will call mine, I will really like to have a good relationship with you, and i have a special reason why i decided to contact you. I decided to contact you because of the urgency of my situation here, I am Miss Bella Ochenu Paulmikl. 24years old girl from Liberia the only daughter of Late Mr.PaulMikl. the deputy minister of national security under the leadership of president Charles Taylor who is now in exile after many innocent soul were killed,My Father was killed by government of Charles Taylor ,he accuse my father of coup attempt.I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment i am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father. Meanwhile I wanted to escape to the Europe she hide away my international passport and other valuable travelling documents. Luckily she did not discover where I kept my fatherâs File which contains important documents. So I decided to run to the refugee camp where I am presently seeking asylum under the United Nations High Commission for the Refugee here in Ouagadougou, Republic of Burkina Faso. I wish to contact you personally for a long term business relationship and investment assistance in your Country.
My Father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$8.500,000.00 in Bank with my name as the next of kin. However, I shall give you more information of my inheritance on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the transfer and investment of the fund.As you will help me in an investment, and i will like to complete my studies, as i was in my first year in the university, when the crisis started. It is my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my investment capital. This is the reason why I decided to contact you. Please all communications should be through this email address only for confidential purposes. As soon as I receive your positive response showing your interest I will put things into action immediately. In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely please kindly attach your informationâs like this. 1.your full name: 2.your occupation: 3.your country: 4. your phone number: Well i am in the refugee camp for now as this camp is managed by Christ the king church of Christ Burkina Faso located inside the camp where i am sending you this mail from the office of the Pastor FRANK ODINGA and i will plead with the pastor of the church to allow me receive calls from you so that i can give you the telephone number of the church to call me so that we can talk more.I am staying at the female hostel. Awaiting your urgent and positive response. Please do keep this only to your self please i beg you not to disclose it till i come over, once the fund has been transferred.
Yours Love, Miss.Bella Ochenu PaulMikl.Reply To(firstname.lastname@example.org)