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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Hon Anthony Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 09:17:15 +0100
Subject: Attention Dear Friend,
How are you today? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transaction Last Year, For attempting to help me transfer the sum of Nine Million United State Dollars US$9,000,000,00 to your foreign account,
am sorry for presenting and using someone else in your name to get this transaction successful. Due to logistic reasons and your inconsistency to the other best known to you. Right now, I want to inform you that I have successfully cleared the bank draft check funds to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture that have been over and successful.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed at the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of US$1,800,000,00 ( One Million Eight Hundred Thousand United State Of America Dollars). I have authorized Mr. Solomon Ezechuks where I deposited the money with UBA to issue you An international certified ATM DEBIT CARD, cash-able at your bank or any where as your choice felt. My dear friend I will like you to contact Mr. Solomon Ezechuks for the collection of this international certified ATM DEBIT CARD Loaded the sum of $1,800,000,00. His name and contact address is as follows:
Name: Director Solomon Ezechuks
Address: No.Carre 241 Avenue Dalmeida, Cotonou Benin Du Republic..
Please contact him with your Full Delivery Information such As::
YOUR FULL NAME:::::::
YOUR FULL ADDRESS:::::
YOUR PHONE NUMBER:::::
AND A COPY OF YOUR ID:::::
Contact Director Solomon Ezezchuks because At the moment am very busy here in the United kingdom because of the investment projects which myself and my new partner are having at hand In London Finally remember that I have forwarded instructions to Mr. Solomon Ezechuks on your behalf to send the ATM DEBIT CARD CONTAINED SUM of US$1,800,000,00 (ONE Million Eight Hundred Thousand USD ONLY) to you as soon as you contact him without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Use this code(UNCC-8550) as the subject of your mail to them for identification Okay?
Thanks God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon as you've getting my compensation and please do not get angry because that is what I have for now till I finish my project.
Honorable. Anthony Williams