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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "here in london united kingdom" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.John Wilson" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 03:34:59 +0100
Subject: IN GOOD FAITH AND HONESTY I WRITE YOU THIS MAIL.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I KNOW THAT THIS LETTER MIGHT COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE, BUT PLEASE DO KINDLY FIND TIME TO GO THROUGH IT. I AM MR. JOHN WILSON, THE CHIEF AUDITOR, AUDIT DEPARTMENT OF FUND RELEASE ORDER IN CITIBANK INTERNATIONAL LONDON UNITED KINGDOM, LAST WEEK WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH SOME FILE IN THE OFFICE I DISCOVERED A DOCUMENT THAT BELONGS TO ONE LATE MR. FRANK EDWARD.
LATE MR. FRANK EDWARD, FROM UNITED STATE OF AMERICA (USA) EXECUTED CONTRACT THROUGH FEDERAL MINISTRY OF AVIATION HERE IN LONDON UNITED KINGDOM, THE CONTRACT WORTH OF SEVENTEEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND GREAT BRITIAN POUNDS ONLY (£17,500,000.00).
BUT ON THE PROCESS OF APPROVING THE PAYMENT AND TRANSFERRING THE FUND TO HIM, HE DIED WITH HIS WIFE IN EARTHQUAKE DISASTER THAT OCCURRED IN GEORGIA (USSR).
MEANWHILE, HIS FUND HAS TO BE SIGNED IN MY OFFICE BEFORE I WILL GIVE ORDER TO THE TRANSAFER DEPARTMENT, FOR FINAL ENDORSEMENT OF HIS FUND.NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IS GOING ON .
THIS IS THE MAN\'S INFORMATION'S:
(1) CONTRACT SUM: US £17,500,000.00
(2) CONTRACT NUMBER: FMA/FTB/FGN/3-X/96
(3) CONTRACT AWARDED: 23RD MARCH 2000
(4) CONTRACT COMMISSIONED: JULY 2001
(5) CONTRACT PIN CODE: FMA-96-FGN2
(6) CONTRACTOR\'S NAME: MR. FRANK EDWARD
(7) COMPANY: FRANK EDWARD ENGINEERING COMPANY
YOU WILL ACT LIKE THE BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUND OR THE AUTHORIZED NEXT OF KIN TO THE ORIGINAL BENEFICIARY LATE MR. FRANK EDWARD (MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE), I WILL SEND TO YOU THE WHOLE RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT IS REQUIRED IN THIS TRANSACTION IMMEDIATELY YOU ACCEPT TO CO-OPERATE WITH ME. KINDLY GET BACK TO ME WITH THIS INFORMATION'S:
1.YOUR FULL NAMES
3.YOUR PRIVATE PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
I HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE YOU 40% OF THIS FUND AT THE SUCCESSFUL END OF THIS TRANSACTION AND 60% WILL BE FOR ME.
PLEASE HAVE IT IN YOUR MIND THAT THIS DEAL IS 100%ATTACH