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:
- 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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Andreas Jurgen" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 21:28:31 -0700
My name is Andreas Jurgen, accountant and wealth management officer in Credit Suisse Bank Switzerland. The contents of this email shall be referred as confidential. It is as a result of an urgent need for a foreign partner that this email is originated. Therefore I will go straight to the point.
I am an intermediary and representing of a top government official who wants to urgently move funds to an account under your name or your company name. Please note that the funds involved amount to hundreds of millions of dollars and your urgent response is needed.
If you are able to handle this please let me know urgently.
Offshore companies will be set up in your name and funds will be transferred to those accounts.
My client is ready to pay you 50 million dollars to keep these funds in trust for him, please note that the amount in question is up to 1.5 Billion dollars.
If you are able to handle such an amount of money in trust please get back to me urgently with your willingness to proceed and we shall work out the modalities for the smooth transfer of the funds to you.
Please reply if ONLY you are serious enough to proceed with this transaction so I can give more details, and please respond with your secure email and phone number.
Mr. Andreas Jurgen