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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: FROM CHARLES BENSON
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 22:40:26 -0300
Subject: STOP CONTACTING THOSE INTERNET CRIMINALS AGAIN
My Dear Friend,
I contacted you some time ago in respect to the funds transfer of my deceased client . I want to sincerely thank you for your help initially although you backed out thinking that the funds transfer was illegal and a scam.
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from Paraguay. Presently i'm in Paraguay for an investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts in assisting me in transferring those funds despite the fact that it was a little difficult some how.
Now you can contact my secretary his name Mr. John Weber and ask him to send you the total of $900,000.00 which i kept for your compensation for the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciate all your efforts at that time. So feel free and get in touch with my secretary Mr. John with these information so he can send you An ATM MASTER CARD worth $900,000.00 that i have already made available to him to deliver to you as soon as you contact him :
Mr. John Weber
Contact Email: email@example.com
Tel: 1 646 598 1786
1. Your Full Names
2. Your Contact Address
3. Phone Number
Please do contact him immediately with these information so that we can share the joy after all the struggle at that time. Presently am very busy, you might not hear from me unless very urgent. Iâm busy with my new investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand.
Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mr. John Weber, he will send the amount to you without any delay.