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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Dr. Faruk Bello" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 21:13:30 -0700
Subject: Business Request
I am a member of the Federal Government of Nigeria Contract Award and Monitoring Committee in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) Sometime
ago, a contract was awarded to a foreign firm in NNPC by my Committee.The contract was delibrately over invoiced.The over invoicing was a deal by my committee
to benefit from the project.
We now want to transfer this money which is in a suspense Account with CBN into any Overseas Account which we expect you to provide for us.If you are interested
in this deal, kindly email me with my private email addresses; FarukBello@CryptoHeaven.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, for further details upon your acceptance
of this proposal as time is of the essence in this business deal.
I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation,
Dr. Faruk Bello