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:
- 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:
- "% 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. )
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: EQUITY FINANCE INVESTMENT <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2016 07:23:22 -0700
Subject: EQUITY FINANCE INVESTMENT
EQUITY FINANCE INVESTMENT EQUITY FINANCE INVESTMENT are groups of company =
we provide our valuable customers a platform where they can proliferate and=
gain profits through our association, we are currently seeking means of ex=
panding and relocating our business interest in the following sectors: real=
estate, mining, transportation, farming,education ,and oil & gas sector. I=
f you think you have a solid background an idea of making good profit in an=
y of the mentioned business sectors in your country, Please write me for po=
ssible business co-operation. More so,If you think of getting a Financial H=
elp? Are you seriously in need of an urgent loan? we offer guaranteed and u=
nlimited Loan/Fund services of any amount to individuals, companies who nee=
ds loan to either fund their business or to execute their project with a in=
terest rate of 5%, We need a Representative/Agent who can introduce client =
to us for funding and you will earn a 10% commission on any client you intr=
oduce to us, loan and project financing is highly accepted. Looking forward=
for possible business collaboration with you. Please Reply to (equityfinan=
email@example.com) Thank you Mr Stephen Windock EQUITY FINANCE INVEST=