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:
- "million 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SENATOR JOHN JAMES AKPANUDOEDEHE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2016 19:16:54 +0300
MY NAME IS SENATOR JOHN JAMES AKPANUDOEDEHE,I AM AN ELECTED SENATOR OF THE 5TH REPUBLIC , I HAVE $300 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS DEPOSITED INCOGNITO IN A FINANCE AND SECURITY COMPANY IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES I NEED A TRUSTEE WHO WILL MANAGE THE SAID AMOUNT. I CANNOT BE DISCOVERED BY MY GOVERNMENT TO BE THE OWNER OF THE MONEY BECAUSE I WAS ELECTED UNDER THE PLATFORM OF A RULING PART WHICH NOW LAST THE LAST ELECTION AND WE NOW FALL PREY TO THE OPPOSITION PARTY KNOWN AS A.P.C.THIS IS WHY I NEED A TRUSTED PERSON/PARTY AND AN EXPERT WHO WILL INVEST THIS MONEY IN BUSINESS AND AT THE SAME TIME KEEP THIS SECRET FOR ME. THE PROCEEDS THAT WILL BE MADE FROM THE INVESTMENT OF THIS FUNDS WILL BE SHARED AS PER AGREEMENT. I ALREADY HAVE A LAWYER, WHO WILL DRAFT A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING THAT WILL PROTECT PARTIES INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT. YOU WILL HAVE TOTAL CONTROL OF THE INVESTMENT AND ONLY HAVE TO DECLARE THE PROCEEDS PERIODICALLY FOR SHARING.
IF YOU ARE WILLING TO DO THIS WITH ME. PLEASE SEND ME A SCANNED COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT AND ID FOR RECORD PURPOSES. PLEASE, ALSO SEND IN YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS.
YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT ME BY COPYING AND PASTING THE LINKS BELOW ON
YOUR BROWSER AND HIT ENTER:
WHEN I READ FROM YOU AGAIN, I SHALL THEN TELL YOU MORE DETAILS CONCERNING THE PROJECT.
KINDLY SEND ME YOUR POSITIVE RESPONSE ON INTEREST USING THE EMAIL ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE BELOW,
SENATOR JOHN JAMES AKPANUDOEDEHE