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.
- 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: "WEST AFRICAN POLICE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 04:08:16 +0900
Subject: HOW MUCH YOU SENT TO THOSE SCAMMER
We are notifying you this afternoon following so many Frauds report against you from west Africa here, precisely, Ghana, Nigeria and Benin.From United State FBI and scam Monitoring Teams, we have been notified through the security agents that so much money has been sent by United states Citizens to scam experts of the above countries who neither do not have any of your funds or have idea about that. Most of this scammers uses names of corporate companies, Individuals and courts and even the security agencies to scam innocent citizen of their hard earned income.
Your case is prominent among this victims, as you were reported to have sent fee to scammers of above countries. And in conjunction with United states CIA, we are working diligently to get to the root of this. We got your email address through United states FBI now in investigation exercise in Africa.
Now, for the sake of your freedom, we will like to know more about your transactions in west Africa here, and why all the fees are sent. Bear in mind, The information from FBI says those scammers uses the names of fake companies, Banks, and corporate institutions to collect fee from you instead of original right entrusted person EMAIL US (email@example.com)
West Africa Security Team