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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Pike" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2016 18:05:13 -0700
Subject: VERY URGENT PLEASE.
I know that this message would come to you as a surprise since we have not met before, however, I am Mr.John Pike from England, am a senior executive of Shell Petroleum. I want you to help me and receive the sum of 104 Million United States Dollars for our mutual benefits. First of all, let me make it clear to you that there is nothing illegal in this transaction or whatsoever, the funds will be transferred to your bank account in a legal manner.
I made the funds from a crude Oil deal we (the executives of Shell) carried out during the 5 years Oil boom because we had information from crude Oil experts few years earlier, that crude Oil prices would crash drastically.
To that effect, we decided to strike some deals with some Russian and Kazakh Oil and Gas companies so that could have some money to fall back on once we retire, as our retirement is around the corner. Its a public knowledge that the crude Oil prices have crashed, a barrel of crude Oil is now less than 50 USD, and it may still crash to perhaps 30 dollars or more.
The reason am contacting you is also because the bank where the funds is currently has requested that I should provide an account to move out the funds as soon as possible.Alas, I can`t be able to receive the funds in my private bank account here in UK to avoid any problem with the UK authority or Shell security department who monitors our assets.
I want you to help me and receive the funds in your region, am willing to give you 35% of the entire funds for your help.
We can also invest the funds in your company or any project you have in your region for our mutual benefits.
I wait to hearing from you for more details.