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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- +22508695944 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Samuel Berewa" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 10:31:59 -0000
Subject: Please We Need Your Urgent Assistance
Good Day and God bless you as I introduce myself to you with all faith and hope you will
understand us and not to betray us or let us down at the end. My name is SAMUEL and my
sister's name is HELEN BEREWA. We are the children of late CHIEF MAXWELL BEREWA,our father
died years ago in our country MENDE, Republic of Sierra Leone, He was into legal solid
minerals, diamonds and gold mining saleing which was under his positions in government then,
and he has succeeded in saving (US$9,500,000.00) Million, during his Business on diamonds and
gold mining selling, After he went on a trip to Republic of Cote D'Ivoire near by country to
our country to save his money for security reasons because of the political problems in our
country, as our father returns back to our country Unfortunately he is dead the rebels attack
us and kill our father and burnt our house and we ran to cote d'ivoire the country where our
father deposited the money and our mother also dead in hospital here and I will not want this
money to be kept like that without any investment purpose please we are contacting you with
full trust to assist and help us to transfer this money to your account in your country for
investment purpose hoping that you will not let us down. we are going to give you 30% percent
of the total money as soon the bank transferred it to your account and the investment will be
under your care,
The bank have been waiting urgently for us to give them the foreign beneficiarys details
where they will transfer the money to. Upon your reply we will give you more details about us
and on how the transfer will be executed, I hope that you will not let us down.
We are waiting for your urgent reply, Please reply us to our private Email here
(firstname.lastname@example.org ) Our telephone number +225-08-69-59-44, so that i will give you all
the details. Best regards
Samuel and Helen Berewa