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:
- 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. )
- "barrister" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: paul roland <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:49:25 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Mr Paul.
Â Â Â Â This is Francis Moses and i am doing gold and diamond business in Ghana west Africa.Please i am looking for a trusted and reliable partner over there in your country that can work with me by assisting me in investing my money over there in your country, because i have some money deposited in a security company here in Ghana that i want to invest, all i need is somebody i can trust because i will transfer the money over there in your name then i will come over and we invest the money through your assistance and we have to do a change of ownership in your name,and the only thing you have to do for me is to help me to remove the money from the security company because the whole documents will be change in your name, so from there we proceed.So please if you are ready to work with me you can send me your private phone number so that you can speak with my lawyer, barrister Joseph who will be in-charge of the whole proceedings or you can email me through this email address;email@example.com.