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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remmittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: akudo eze <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 04:36:19 +0000
Subject: YOUR PARTNERSHIP IS NEEDED
I am Mr Akudo Eze staff of a reputable bank in Africa. On the 23rd of Feb. 2005, a contractor made a deposit for 12 months valued at USD$25.5 million. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we discovered from his contract employers,that the depositor had died.
On further investigation i found out that he died without making a will. The money is still sitting in our Bank and According to the Laws, here in Afirca, at the expiration of 10 (ten) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Government Treasury if nobody applies to claim the fund.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you to stand in as the next of kin to the depositor.
However my proposal to you is i want to front you as the Next of Kin to or bank deceased customer. If this business interest you furnish me with the bellow information:
1.Your full names.
2.Your full Address.
3.Your personal Tel
Mr Akudo Eze
Staff International Remmittance Department