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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "utmost confidentiality" (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: "Mr. Ulrich Bredemeyer" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2018 01:33:51 -0700
Subject: GOOD DAY
From: Mr. Ulrich Bredemeyer
European Union Finance Director of
Lloyds Banking Group United Kingdom
I have a very important request that made me to contact you.I am Mr. Ulrich Bredemeyer and i found your profile very interesting and decided to reach you directly to solicit your assistance and guidelines in making a business transaction partnership and transfer of a very huge amount to your country within the next few banking days.I presently work as a European Union Finance Director of the Lloyds Banking Group.
But at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this profitable Business Transaction until I get your response by mail.
Please take out a moment of your very busy schedule today to respond back if you are interested so that i can let you know more about this transaction.
I wish for utmost confidentiality in handling this transaction.
I await your urgent reply.
Mr. Ulrich Bredemeye