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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "very 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: HELLO <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2017 11:04:23 -0700
Please,pardon me for not knowing your mindset before contacting you,it
is very confidential, I am Mr Emmanuel peters, branch manager Gold Metro
Finance firm,Lome republic of Togo West Africa.We had a foreign
customer who deposited $9.400.000.00 with us.In 2010 my customer and
his only son died as their apartment got completely burnt by fire
With my position in the finance firm and the fact that no other person
has information about the money,it is very possible and very easy for
us to claim the funds as his next of kin without any
hitch.Please,contact me so i will give you details on how we can get
the funds transferred to your private account without delay,so you and
I will share it 50/50% for each of us.
Mr Emmanuel peters
+228 9378 6842,