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:
- "million united state 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (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: Myriam Philip <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 03:42:31 -0700 (PDT)
It's Just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I am a banker by profession and currently holding the Post Of chief auditor in charge of debt recovery in our Bank.
I have the opportunity of transfering an unclaimed funds (U.S $22,000,000,00M) twenty two million united state dollars that where deposited in our bank by one of our client who died in a plane crash in 2006 with his entire family having no one coming up to claim his funds and if left unclaimed after five years will be transfered to the bank treasury.
Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where we can facilitate to the transfer of this fund and have promised 40 as your percentage once we are through, if you agree to my business proposal.
Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your mail.