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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- 1007 77019-6033, houston united states. e-mail: (email@example.com)or(firstname.lastname@example.org) your attention is needed, (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " Mr. Richard Wilson" <test@CHERISHINSTYLE.COM>
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 18:23:52 +0200
Subject: CRUDE OIL EXPLORATION AND GLOBAL ENERGY MARKETING COMPANY
BG GROUP (PLC) CRUDE OIL EXPLORATION AND GLOBAL ENERGY MARKETING COMPANY.
2001 Kirby Drive,Suite 1007
Your Attention is Needed,
I am Mr. Richard Wilson,an Account and finance manager OF BG GROUP (PLC) CRUDE OIL EXPLORATION AND GLOBAL ENERGY MARKETING COMPANY. I entrant your utmost reliance in this information's and the transaction as whole.
I based here in United states, I got your contact on my confidential search on the internet, that should stand as my trustee and partner on the claim and joint utilization of some fund that is lying unclaimed in the Bank account of a foreigner who is one of the foreign contractor of this organization that died of cardiac arrest here in United states.
This fund value of (70.500,000:00) eighty Million Five Hundred Thousand united states dollars, came to exist as an unclaimed contract payment made by my Company into the account of this foreigner for a particular contract executed Five (5) years ago,ever since this payment was transferred into his account here in United states, every effort made get hold of his next of kin or relative to put in claims on this contractor payment has not been fruitful.
The banking rules/act here in United states, have it that if a depositor has been confirmed dead and the account has been dormant for period of three (3) years and no one comes up for the claim of such deposit, the bank has the right to declare the fund unclaimed and be transferred into the government treasury, with a 40% commission.
On getting this information I have already sent an official letter to the bank informing that I have been in communication with the business associates of this contractor and that we have concluded arrangements to enable me present his details to follow up the claim process and this is the reason I have contacted you so that we can jointly take the bold step on the claim and joint utilization of this existing contract payment.
it is in this regard you are contacted (partnership is required) as arrangement have been concluded to present you as the Beneficiary of this fund, you are to forward to me the following information'
1. Full Name:......................
2. Full Address:...................
3. Telephone Number:...............
8.Scan copy of your ID:............
I have agreed to offer you (40%) FOURTY PERCENT of the total sum for this essential role, (5%) FIVE PERCENT has been ear-marked for settlement of any incidental expenses that may come up in the course of this transaction, and (55%) FIFTY FIVE percent will be for me as the pioneer of the business.
Please note that the hope, confidence bestowed on you should not be over-emphasized.
NOTE:ALL INFORMATION SHOULD REMAIN A TOP SECRET AS I AM STILL IN ACTIVE SERVICE HERE IN MY COUNTRY.
Please forward the anticipated information's to my private Email Address as all Arrangements are in place for a hitch free transaction. (email@example.com)OR(firstname.lastname@example.org
mr Richard Wilson.