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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Bernard Madoff" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:53:20 -0500
Subject: Very Urgent!!!
I am Bernard Madoff the founder of Wall Street Firm, Bernard L. Madoff investment securities LLC in 1960 and was the former chairman of NASDAQ. I was accuses of fraud worth over $170 billion dollars and was arrested on Dec 11, 2008 and on March 12, 2009, I was found guilty of 11 federal crimes and admitted to operating the largest Ponzi Scheme in history.
Let me not go into much details. I have in my possession â¬20 million Euro in an offshore Bank, which nobody else knows about this except my account officers because the money was deposited under serial codes. I need your help, to get this money out and keep safely for me as I am sure of coming out from jail soon from my appeal. I have lost everything in life and I can't get close to this fund on my own, because the government have ceased and confiscated everything I have, and will still cease more if the find out any money or asset linking to me. I am willing to share this money equally with you, if you can work with me and get this fund out from the bank. I need that money to start a new life as soon as i am out of prison. I will be waiting for your reply any moment from now.
With Kind respect