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:
- 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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a "Yukos oil" scam. The criminals who send such emails have no connection to Yukos Oil. The emails are usually sent from Nigeria. The only money that ever changes hands in this scam is from you to the criminals.
Fraud email example:
From: "SWISS CONSULTANT CH" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2016 15:05:18 -0700
Subject: Transaction Update (CLASSIFIED)
Ms. P. Way
Top Investment Consultant
Based In Switzerland
Reference : 468478
Good day to you.
It is a great pleasure to be in contact with you.
I am a financial consultant based in Europe and the investor stated below is my client for over 15 years.
We seek your partnership on an investment project that can guaranty a good ROI.
I got your contact in my search for a reliable partner, I am looking to work with a reputable individual/firm to mop up and place funds into viable investment ventures in your country and perhaps with your assistance, we could evade high taxes. am a staff/member of the inner circle of Mr. Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky (the former Chairman/CEO of Yukos Oil Company) who was imprisoned in Russia on false charges of fraud and tax evasion by the current Russian President Mr. Vladimir V. Putin Before the arrest of Mr. Mikhail Khodorovsky, we where in the process to complete the documentations for the payment of US$500 M for contractor execution under Yukos, while working on the issuance of the Approval Documents for the payment Mr. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested which led to the suspension of this payment.
Mr. Khodorkovsky was released from prison on 20th December, 2013, he is reuniting with family.
I solicit your help so you can stand as the foreign contractor / beneficiary of the said funds after which we can re-profile the Approval documents with your details to secure the payment in your new offshore account.
We look forward to your co-operation in this regard.