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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Kabiru Wahid <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 14:31:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: VERY URGENT
Greeting's to you and your family!
I am the head of the file of Societe Generale De Banques Au Burkina (B.O.A) here in Burkina Faso / Ouagadougou .
In my department i discover an abandoned sum of ($15.5)Us Dollars) in an account that belong to one of our foreign customer who died along with his family in plane crash, leaving no next of kin on his profile to come and claim his fund. And since after his death; nobody have ever come for the claim of his fund, because the deceased customer died with his entire family. I agree that 40% of this money will be for you, and 10% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 50% would be for me. Then after the money is been transferred into your account, i will visit your country for an investment under your kind control.
So you will be contacting my bank directly as the real next of kin of this deceased customer account with next of kin application form, which i will be sending to you in my next mail as soon as i received your respond. Therefore send me those your information below to enable me use it and get you next of kin Application Form from bank, so that you will contact bank for the transfer of this money into your account.
Your Home Address.............
Your Home Telephone..........
Your Personal Number.........
I am waiting for your urgent respond to enable us proceed further for the transfer of this fund into your account.