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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. William Parker" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 23:09:22 +0200
I am contacting you for a business transfer of a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though know that a transaction of
this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that every document that will bring about
the success of this transaction will be provided by an attorney here in London , and all will be well at the end of the day.
I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction and want you to stand as the next of Kin to funds #6,100 000
00 GBP (Six million, one hundred thousand Great British pounds sterling). The deceased person who died Neal Walker died in
air crash along with his wife on the 31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline 990 with other passengers on board was an
American Oil consultant/contractor with the Chinese Solid Minerals Corporation. You can confirm his death from the website
below which was published by BBC WORLD NEWS.WEBSITE.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm
1. Full names and address,
2. Telephone and fax Number.
4. A scan copy of your international passport or drivers license.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, please endeavor to contact me immediately. Do not take undue advantage of the trust I
have bestowed in you, I await your urgent mail now to my private email ID (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. William Parker.