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)
- "with absolute secrecy" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Mark Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:26:22 +0100
Subject: Can i trust you?
*Dear Friend, Good day to you and your family. I apologize if the content
here-under are contrary to your moral ethics but please treat with absolute
secrecy and personal. My name is Dr Mark Adams from Pakistan, but worked in
Damascus, Syria. I am 45 years Old, and i am a personal investor, also an
oil Tycoon from Syria and Saudi Arabia: Al Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC),
the leader in the region in Reservoir Management. AFPC was established
under Service Contract no. 210 ratified by Law no. 43 of 1977 and named as
per decree-law no. 12 in 1985. AFPC is a joint venture company between the
General Petroleum Corporation (50%) and private shareholders Syria Shell
Petroleum Development (SSPD) etcâ¦â¦â¦Due to the war in Syria, I moved some
funds into a bank in Belgium Europe for safety. The amount that is moved to
the bank is usd$52.6 Million USD with the help of my colleague name: Mr.
Wilhelm name to deposit the fund. I could not move the funds nor deposit it
in my name so as to avoid suspicion by the Oil Company. I want to transfer
this fund into your bank account in your country. I have contacted the
Director of the bank where the fund is deposited and asked if the fund can
be loaded into an ATM VISA CARD and he said it is possible to load some of
the funds into an ATM VISA CARD, while most of it will be wired to your
account via bank transfer. Why i contacted you is that I want you to tell
me more about good investment so that i will move this fund into your
account in your country so that I could relocate my investment planning to
your country, out of Syria, Now that Syria security and Economic
independence had been lost to the greatest lower level, and our culture has
been lost, i have to relocate my family out from Syria to England. I need a
foreign partner to enable me transport my investment capital and then
relocate with my family, honestly. Tell me more about your country, how
good it will be to invest in your country Cities, Such as buying of
properties, houses, real estate and investments in tourism. I will
appreciate whatever result you may brief me. Do let me know your idea and
knowledge regarding these or any other profitable investment you may
suggest. I shall tell you more about this transaction as soon as i get your
readiness concerning this transaction. Waiting for your reply, Thanks and
best regards, Dr Mark Adams.*