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 beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Senator Patrick Osakwe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 03:06:57 -0800
I have been directed to contact you today by the Department of Compensation Fund Payment. This is because you have been approved to receive a compensation sum of US$955,000.00 from the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. It was established that you rendered assistance to some person(s) in the past who sought your help to assist them move out a certain sum of money out of their country to your own country for business investment. However, after using you and subjecting you to spend lots of money to achieve this purpose, the fund was not released to you as they promised. In the process, you lost some monies and did not receive any dime up to date.
This particular amount of US$955,000.00 has been
approved to be paid to you as compensation for all your past efforts in helping to realize the business transaction to enable you recover what you have lost in the past and help you start your life afresh.
You are hereby advised to reply this message and indicate your interest to receive this sum of US$955,000.00
Best regards and wishes,
Senator Patrick Osakwe
Senate Committee Chairman
Local and Foreign Debts Payment Africa.