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:
- "million us dollars" (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: "Sarah Burns" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 22:07:02 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Good Day.
I come across your profile and have decided to get in touch with you, to see if you can help me solve my problem as I believe, one has to risk confiding in someone to succeed sometimes in life considering the situations the person fined his or her self.
My name is Sarah Burns, the daughter of (Late Dr. Robert Burns) my Father worked with Chevron Corporation Angola for twenty years before he died in a motor accident with my mother in the year 2009. My father willed in cash, the sum of $4.5 Million US Dollars which he deposited in a Fixed account with a bank in Ivory Coast with enabling conditions for the release of the funds which are as follows:
(1) That I must be 25 years or above to have full access of the deposit.
(2) That if any situation warrants that I may need the funds before the said age, I have to present to the bank a reliable foreign guardian/Trustee that will receive and invest the funds on my behalf.
(3) That upon request for the release of the funds, there must be evidence of investment intentions especially outside the West Africa.
I contact you therefore to stand as my guardian/Trustee since I am not yet 25 and now in a very difficult situation that I can not wait to get to the said age because I may die before that time comes due to hardship and no one to assist me over here. Please absorb me in partnership in your company or possibly advise me on any investment opportunity in your country to invest the funds and also assist me with the necessary traveling required documents to come over to your country for the investments and to further my education.
I expect your urgent response including your address and your telephone number.
Please, consider this and get back to me as quick as possible.
Thanks for expected cooperation.
Miss Sarah Burns.