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 pounds" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Stephen King" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2015 12:35:39 -0800
Subject: INVESTMENT IN YOUR COUNTRY
I am Mr. Stephen King, Director of finance Section of one of the world's largest and most diversified private investment company in UK (Caledonia Investments Plc), with over £25 billion assets base. As the director of foreign investments, I handle the company's Investment on stocks for 8 years now. In 2005 to 2007, I handled the company's Initial Public Offer Sales (IPO).
During these years, the company had Excess and Maximum Capital Profit on investments, from the Excess return profit. I secretly extracted 1.2% from the bonus shares or stocks.
As an expert, I made over £22,400,000 Million Pounds worth of stocks from the previous years Excess and marginal Capital Profit and hereby looking for a foreigner to trust who will stand as a share holder or the Investor of this fund with Caledonia Investment, to receive the funds as Annual Investment Proceeds from the Company's Magellan Capital Funds after which we will disburse the fund for our investment purposes. I want to invest some funds through your assistance.
All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you prior to your acceptance. Meanwhile,I have worked out the modalities and technicalities whereby the funds can be claimed in any of our 6 Clearing Houses without any hitches. Our disbursement or sharing ratio will be 60-40%.
If you are interested, send your DIRECT phone number so we could discuss more on phone as regard the transaction.
Thanks for your understanding as I would wait to get immediate
response from you.