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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Philip Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:36:08 -0800
I write to you based on a request by an investor who needs to invest his funds in your country. My name is Philip Smith, I am a financial consultant based here in Europe.
I represent the interests of very wealthy personalities, who as a result of the political position they hold in their various countries and the unstable investment environment of their countries, move majority of their funds into more stable economies and developed nations where they can get good yield for their investments.
A reserved Client, whom I had personally worked with few years ago recently approached me. What he requested is a company or an individual such as you, who will be willing to receive funds on his behalf abroad, and put it to good use in investments for a period not exceeding 8 to 10 years for a start.
The client has offered these terms:
1.The fund in question is about $75 Million US Dollars or more depending on your project proposal plans which requires our joint venture investment partnership. The fund is presently available for release to you.
2. The funds will be used by the foreign partner for eight years or more as joint venture investment. That is, you do not pay any interest on the funds but you give the client 50% of all profits after tax that accrued from the use of the funds yearly.
If you are interested.Kindly let me know by contacting me via my direct email as follows: ( email@example.com ) and I will provide you with all necessary information and procedures involved.