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:
- 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "SGT JERRY BROWN" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:05:15 +0100
Subject: READ CAREFULLY AND REPLY URGENTLY
My name is (Staff Sgt) Jerry Brown, I'm an American soldier serving in
the military with the Armys 3rd Infantry division Iraq but now
redeployed to Afghanistan. I have a very desperate need for assistance
and have summed up courage to contact you..
I found your contact particulars in an address journal and Im seeking
your kind assistance to move the sum of Eight Million United States
Dollars (US$8M) to you in the United States as far as I can be assured
that my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies were discovered in barrels at a
farmhouse near Saddams old palaces in Tikrit-Iraq during a rescue
operation, and it was agreed by Staff Sgt Kenneth Buff and I that some
part of this money be shared between both of us before informing
anybody about it since both of us saw the money first. This does not
sound right to do but I tell you what! No compensation can make up for
the risk we have taken with our lives in this hell hole, of which my
brother in-law was killed by a road side bomb last time.
The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind
of money became a problem for me but with the help of a British
contact working here and with his office enjoying some immunity, I was
able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble
spot. He does not know the real content of the package as he believes
that it belongs to a British/American Medical doctor who died in a
raid in Iraq, and before giving up, trusted me to hand over the
package to his family in united States.
I have now found a very secured way of getting the package to you at
home for you to pick up, and I will discuss this with you when I m
sure that you are willing to assist me and that the money will be well
secured in your hands. I feel this is the right time to send this
I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the
assistance you will give to me. One passionate appeal I will make to
you is not to discuss this matter with anybody. Should you have
reasons to reject this offer, please and please, I beg you to destroy
this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for
the US soldiers in Iraq and even Afghanistan.
I do not know how long we will remain in this war, as each day looks
horrifying with deadly operation and battle against die hard militants
and terrorists. Totally, we lost well over 4,500 men so far and I have
survived two suicide bomb attacks and other forms of attack by the
special grace of God. This and other reasons I will mention later has
prompted me to reach out for help.
I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately. Please contact
me as soon as possible via email which is my only way of
May God bless you