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.
- 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: "Steven Jansch" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:07:04 -0700
Subject: Pressing Need
I am Chimezie Madueke a son of the recently embattled former petroleum minister of Nigeria Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke . I am writing to request your honest assistance in receiving and managing a considerable sum of money in a secured account with a private and re-known fund managers. In the heat of the current events with my mother, I have been asked by the fund managers to move the funds to a safer aboard to avoid been confiscated. In the light of this I have appointed our age long family Attorney, STEVEN JANSCH a United Kingdom based Attorney to oversee the movement of this fund in order to stay within the confines of ordinary law. I am therefore writing under the umbrella of his office and asking you to deal with him directly in this transaction.
These funds are surpluses of several contracts executed during the years of her reign as the oil minister in her country Nigeria, I am offering you a total share of 30% as reward to you for standing in as a substitute beneficiary to the claim, an additional 5% is set aside to reimburse for expenses in the course of the transaction and the balance of 65% will be invested upon your strong recommendation in your chosen destination.
If you are willing to provide this assistance please forward your personal detail and mobile phone number(s) to the Attorney, STEVEN JANSCH on his personal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise please fell free to decline.
Click on the link below to find more information on the reason I cannot deal directly with volunteers.
A Memorandum of understanding and Agreement will be in place to protect each one of us in this transaction and enforceable in any local court of law All documents relating to this transaction will be legitimate and verifiable from all relevant authorities.
We look forward to a great business relationship.