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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.maria mamadou" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 22:34:57 -0500
Subject: PLEASE TRY AND DO THIS WITH ME
I want you to patiently read this offer. I am Mrs. Maria Mamadou, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa. My husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries - OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. He also attends OPEC meetings constantly in Geneva before his death caused by cardiac arrest in our home town.
Through the sale of our allocated oil quota in OPEC, he was able to make $12.million. (TWELVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)I want you to assist me to claim this money as i cannot claim it directly because he made the deposit as a fund belonging to his business associate in order not to raise eyebrow since he was a civil servant during that time, and the code of conduct bureau forbids him or his wife to acquire such amount of money.
It is on this basis that I am contacting you for assistance, if you will be interested, claim documents will been processed and sent to you. The documents with which the fund is deposited will be amended to reflect you as the beneficiary so that you will be eligible to collect the fund as his business associate.
You shall be entitled to 30% of the total funds while the rest will be given to me on arrival in your country for the up keeping of my kids and for further investment under your kind control there in your country as I can not be able to do any investment here in West Africa due to the origin of the said fund.
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is risk free and doesn't have any negative implication. You should not entertain any fear as all modalities for the smooth and easy transfer of this fund have been finalized.If you can conveniently assure me of your ability to keep this business very secret and confidential, you can write back to me for further details.
I am will be waiting for your fast mail as soon as you read this mail for more informationâs, please contact me with the below email for more details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Maria Mamadou
Sorry if you received this letter in your spam, is due to recent connection error here in the country.