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)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sir. Muhammed Azeem" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 20:36:45 +0200
Subject: Will You Be Trusted?
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I
believe everyone will die someday,and am contacting you because i really
do need your help,and i want you to help me with all your effort and time
for just seven to fourteen workings days of your time.I want you to be
honest and truthfull with me that you will help me with my last wish
as a dying man.
My name is Muhammed Azeem a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E.I have been
diagnosed with Esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical
treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according
to medical experts.
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for
anyone(not even myself)but my business. Though I am very rich, I was
never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my
business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this
as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make
all the money in the world.
I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would
live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that God has
called me, I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my
immediate and extended family members as well as a few close friends.
I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have decided to
give also to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last
good deeds I do on earth So far, I have distributed money to some charity
organizations in the U.A.E, Algeria and Malaysia. Now that my health has
deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself any more.
I once asked members of my family to close one o f my accounts and
distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in
Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves.
Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with
what I have left for them.
The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of
Sixteen Million United States Dollar $16,000,000.00 in side two boxes that
I have with a Finance/Diplomatic Company Abroad. I will want you to Act as
my Beneficiary who will help me contact the security finance company on my
behalf to discuss the terms and condition of getting this deposit out
from their custody and also helping me to dispatch it to the charity
organizations Reply to this email with your full names, Age, Country.To
enable me ask my doctors lawyer to arrange for you a power of attorney
that will give you full legal backing as my beneficiary.
Kindly get back to me with trust and sincerity that you will help me on
this regards. Here is my personal email box:Muhammed.firstname.lastname@example.org
I have set aside 30% for you and for your time.
God be with you.
My Dear Brother.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.