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:
- 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)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Francis Neto <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2016 04:15:10 -0800
Subject: Asset Building & Investment Letter
From: Francis Neto
London SW3 1QE
This letter is not intending to cause you any embarrassment in
whatever form rather itâs an appeal for Partnership Corporation. I am
the Principal Accountant attached to the Sonangol-Angolan National
Petroleum Company. I have decided to send forth this proposal to you
after some deliberation.
I have in my possession the sum of US$16MILLION (SIXTEEN MILLION
UNITED STATES DOLLARS). The above fund which is now in a suspense
account here in United Kingdom, was accrued from recent over-invoiced
contract awarded to a foreign firm for Maintenance and installation of
oil refinery Equipment in Cabinda, Angola. In pursuant to the terms of
deed of assignment under the International Monetary fund (I.M.F.)
debt-servicing program to pay out all outstanding debt owed to foreign
firms I decided to initiate this outstanding fund for
I now seek your assistance for easy transfer of the over-invoiced
(left-over) amount as the foreign beneficiary and also in recognition
of your personal executive profile and investment opportunities
available in your country. At this juncture, I want you to stand-in as
the original contractor to enable me put claim on the above sum. I
will manipulate and authenticate the payment to your name. I am
assuring you that it is low-risk operation because all the necessary
arrangement have been made.
With my position and experience I have worked out the strategies in
such a way that the transaction will take 12 working days to be
accomplished. On the receipt of your acceptance I will be in a very
good position to give you details on the agreed sharing ratio.
If satisfied with this proposal kindly notify me by email
(firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can furnish you with more details
on how the transaction will be done. I will be with you in person
immediately the fund arrives in your country. Please note that this is
highly confidential and should be treated as such.