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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- 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: Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:12:48 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: With all due respect
With all due respect I know this message might come to you in utmost surprise. However it all just my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact you for this Transaction. My Name is Mr. Mark Williams. I am a banker by profession. I work with one of the reputable bank in West Africa. My reason for contacting you is that I want our bank to transfer an abandoned sum of $10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred United States Dollars) into your bank account in your country as the next of kin. Because the owner of this fund is died since 2006 during the Iraq war leavens nobody for the claim.
And I want to present you to my bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of this said fund if you agree to work with me with one mind without betrayer, also immediately the fund is been transfer into your bank account in your country I will arrive with my family in your country for the shearing of the money according to the percentage we agreed on. Note: this money will be shard 50%50% in your country as soon as you confirmed the fund transferred into your bank account, and then you will ask me and my family to come over in your country for the sharing of the money according to the percentage.
Further details of the transaction shall be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your urgent reply indicating your interest in this transaction. Please if you are interested reply immediately through this my private E-mail address (email@example.com) for more details.
From. Mark Williams