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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gilb H" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:54:11 -0700
Subject: Let us discuss business
How are you, I was dedicated to write this private letter to you considering my political position in the government. This letter is for business negotiation and I hope that you will not expose or betray this trust that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families.
Well, this is a month now I returned from Dubai with my lawyer where we went to make an investment.
Yesterday I was discussing with my lawyer to advise me where we can move the remaining fund $25million and 100KG of gold bar which we couldnt invest in Dubai due high rate of percentage% Government of Dubai are collecting for investment Funds.
We decided to contact you and to know if you will be interested to take over this last fund and invest for us in your country or any country of your choice.
I would like you to indicate your interest and percentage% you shall take for your assistance and let me know so that I can instruct my lawyer to process MOU investment Agreement and POA on your behalf to enable our HSBC bank in Europe to process the transfer to your nominated bank account.
Confirm your readiness by replying Assap.
Mr Gilbert Houngbo