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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- 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.
- 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: William Obinna <"www."@feel.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: William Obinna <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 19:10:35 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Good news to you from the united nation
We want to inform you that the united nation organization has taking over the inheritance of your funds that worths $55.7million usd and every possible arrangements has been made to transfer your funnds to you and we have inform the bank diector that will commence the transfer into your bank account
but the only needed fee is $150 for the transfer charge and immediately you send the fee it will enable us to proceed with the transfer of your funds that worths $55.7million usd into your bank account so you have to contact us now with your full details to avoid wrong transfer such as
YOUR PHONE NUMBER........
immediately you have contacted with your full needed details ask them where to send the fee so that they can give you the information that you will use to send the fee and immediately they gave you the information proceed and make the payments and get back to us so that we can proceed and commence your transfer immediately do not forget to inform us that you have recieved your funds immediately we transfer it to your bank account so that we can know that we have commenced the transfer
thanks for understanding best regards
Mr William Obinna director of the united nation organization.
Email.( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Phone.( +22999619875 )