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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "bank charges " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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: "Corporate Divisional Head Office." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:18:22 -0700
Subject: SEEKING FOR A BUSINESS PARTAKER.
From the Desk of:
Corporate Divisional Head,
Software and Data Processing Unit.
I anticipate that you read this mail quickly and let me know your opinion or willingness on this classified information that I will release to you. Firstly, I am a happily married man with 3 kids and therefore I would not want to jeopardize this opportunity to change my financial status that will give my family a secured future because all I want is that I make use of this opportunity because I believe this type of opportunity is what will make us make our bones.
I am Mr.Martin.Akunnia, Divisional Head of Software and Data Processing Unit of a reputable bank in the United Kingdom (when I receive your response, I will mention the name of my bank) and also a professional in Computer Information Programming, It might interest you to know that I individually computerize a branch in my bank to carry out professional Banking and I am 40 years old. It might also interest you to hear that I am a man of PEACE and don't want problem for you or any member of your family, All I want is your assistance and Trust to
materialize this deal.
One thing that I am sure of is that you will never regret having read this email and assisting me actualize this business transaction, but if you feel you are not interested, please do not bother replying to my email and I promise you that I will never contact you again. I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us, as the Regional manager of a reputable bank in the United Kingdom; it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in Edinburgh at the end of each year.
On the course of the last two years 2015 end of year report, I discovered that my branch made One Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand British Pounds Sterling [1,750.000.00] as Excess Profit which my head office are not aware of and will never be. I have since place this fund in an ESCROW ACCOUNT, escrow accounts does not attract interest nor bank charges so no one is aware of the
existence of the deposit except you. As an officer of the bank I cannot be directly connected to this money, so this informed my contacting you for us to work so that you can assist receive this money into your bank account.
By doing so, you will be apportioned 50% of the funds. Note there is practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer, all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund who made the deposit with our branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account. If you accept this offer to work with me, I will appreciate it very much. As soon as I receive your kind response, I will give you details on how we can achieve it successfully. Please contact me via E-mail [ firstname.lastname@example.org } for more details.