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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- 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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- tel: + 27-83-619 1214 fax: + 27-86-5717.444 email: email@example.com i await urgent reply.please update me of your (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 12:02:36 +0200
Subject: Hello my beloved in the Lord.
Hello my beloved in the Lord.
First and foremost, I apologize using this medium to reach you for a transa=
ction of this magnitude. I am Mrs. Wendy Jane Williams I am 65 years old b=
ase in South Africa.I write to Relate to you of my intention to use my mon=
ey 20.5 million dollars for charity work in your country. I was married to =
Late McCauley Scott Williams who was a contractor with the Government of =
South Africa before he died for plane crashed in 2000 in Kenya airways.I ha=
ve been suffering from cancer I want to know if I can trust you to use Thes=
e funds for charity / orphanage and 20% will be for you as compensation. Pl=
ease contact me, so that I will give you more details,All so my dear husban=
d was involved with the January 2000 Kenya airways plane crashed as you can=
see on the news line web site. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ africa/6627485=
I choose you after viewing your profile and i have confident in you because=
i have prayed. I am willing to donate the sum of $20.5m U.S.Dollars, to th=
e less privileged. May the grace of our lord the love of God and the fellow=
ship of God be with you and your family?
You can also contact my Banker on his Private email SEE THE BELOW CONTACTS=
, BANK NAME: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA (FNB).
Contact person Ext 110 :MR. Richard Zaki Nkosingi (MD)
Head of credit control and international transfer manager
TEL: + 27-83-619 1214
Fax: + 27-86-5717.444
I await urgent reply.Please update me of your communication with the banker=
as soon as possible. I count on you; please keep praying for me as I will =
for you too. Also let the congregation of the church you worship also pray =
Get back to me on (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mrs. Wendy Jane Williams.