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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: drmustafaa kamil <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 23:46:34 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Business Proposal From Dr Mustafa Kamil
Please Read Carefully And Get Back to Me PLease,
my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact
you for this transaction. i got your contact from yahoo
tourist search while i was searching for a foreign partner.
as this message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it
all justsured of your capability. and reliability to champion
this business opportunity when I prayed to good Lord about you.
I am a banker by profession in Burkina Faso ,And currently
holding the post of assistant foreign remittance director in
our bank. i have the opportunity of transferring the left over
funds ($5.5 million dollars) of one of my bank clients who
died along with his entire family in a plane crash.Hence,
I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be
shared between us in the ratio of 60/40% if you agree to my
business proposal. Further details of the transfer will be
forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail.
immediately you receive this letter. Please indicate your
willingness by sending the below information for more
clarification and easy communication.You can as well call my
direct line for further up date +226-74-06-58-15 also Visite our website ww=
(1) Your full name...........
(2) Your contact address..............
(3) Your phone and fax number..........
(4) Your age..................
(5) Your country name...........
Hoping to hear from you immediately
Dr Mustafa Kamil.