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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transfer into your 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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mail2judge; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: joseph Adama <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 01:43:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Business proposal
I have a business proposal
for u, u might be interested,but i must warn u it between me and u. I
have a client who i have been his lawyer for some years but he is late
now but before his death he made know to me that he has 1.2 million
dollar kept in one of the bank here call International commercial bank.
All the document covering the fund is with me as the barrister there
was no next of kin who will come forward to claim this fund...for years
So the bank manager call me into his office and we both agree to
the deal that we look for someone in sea shore who we can use for the
next of kin of my late client and the money will be transfer into your
account for safety.
The percentage will be you as the next of kin
claiming the fund will be given 25 % while 55 % for me and the manager
and the rest of 20%will be for any cost spend on the
business first i need to know if u willing to accept this offer.It will
only take 4 to 5 five to complete this transaction and all the fund
transfer into your account.There is no risk involved,the only risk we
see here is your honesty,sincerity and we all walk away happily.What do