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 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)
- 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: "MR. Thompson Mathew" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "MR. Thompson Mathew" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 2 May 2015 13:22:47 +0900 (JST)
Subject: GOOD DAY
Before I commence I will like to explain myself to you, my name is
MR. Thompson Mathew.. the new director officer of Eco bank Benin
Republic Plc West African, my dear, I want to use this opportunity to
inform you that I was now the director and it have not been a month
now, so I went through the scheme of work of this honorable bank and
find out that your name and your fund valued $6.8 million dollars was
here for six months.
So it amaze me so much and then I went to the office of IMF office
Benin and reported this to them to know what is their aim and they
told me that bank former director john will was the one that curse
all this he collect money for people and refuse to wired their
fund to them, so my dear the Lord I serve will not allow such to
happen here in my seat, so I hereby to inform you now to get us
your full information so that your fund will be wired into your
account immediately ok without wasting time, I do not like betraying
people and no one will do such to me.
This is what we needed from you now so that your fund will be wired through this bank immediately,
Your account number........
Name of bank..............
Bank user name............
Copy of id................
Your phone number.........
Once you forward this to this bank I assure you that you are to
receive your fund with 74hrs OK, if your are able to call me am free
call this line +22999309649
here is the email you will use to contact me
Thanks and remain bless, my regards to your family.
MR. Thompson Mathew..
Eco bank director general