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:
- 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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Ramos Gedorn" <"Dr.Ramos."@proof.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Dr.Ramos Gedorn" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 22:42:43 +0900 (JST)
This proposal is aimed at you for your attention and should not see this letter as a spam that was sent to you by strangers,The sum of $ 3.2 million U.S. dollars was sealed in a trunk box and labeled valuables and family treasures and deposited an independent security company here in the Republic of Benin in West Africa since 1999. This Fund for the Mission of the UN in Sierra Leone peacekeeping was intended but it was deflected by my colleagues for personal benefit. Unfortunately, my colleagues lost their lives during UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, when rebels unexpectedly attacked its territory.
Today I have the secret documents that allow me to make a reliable person and good reputation to be a "beneficiary" of the alleged agents of the current security company is discovered. If you are interested, we can make a deal to divide 50-50 partners funds without legal effect.
I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Therefore, send me the following information for procedures:
1. your name: _ , 2 address: _,3. country: _,4 City: _,5 age: _
6 Tel: _,7 occupation _,8. Attach copy of your ID / Passport:
You can contact me through my private email address
( firstname.lastname@example.org )