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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mariam Sancara <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 13:18:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: greeting from Mrs Mariam Sancara Can I trust you.
My Dear Friend,
May the blessings of Allah be upon you and grant you the wisdom and sympathy to
understand my situation and how much I need your help.I am Mrs.Mariam Sancara. I
am contacting you with the hope that you will be of great assistance to me, I
currently have within my reach the sum of 5.2 million U.S dollars cash which I
intend to use for investment purposes.
I therefore personally appeal to you seriously and religiously for your urgent
assistance to move this money in to your country where I believe it will be safe
since I cannot leave the country due to the restriction of movement imposed on
the members of my family by the Government.
This money came as a result of a payback contract deal between my husband and a
Russian firm in our country.The Russian partners returned my husbands share
..Presently, the Government has intensified their probe in to my husbands
financial resources which has led to the freezing of all our accounts, local and
foreign, the revoking of all our business licences and the arrest of my First
In view of this I want to acted very fast to withdraw this money from one of
our finance houses before it will be closed down.My husband deposited the money
in a finance firm for safe keeping . No record is known about this fund by the
government because there is no documentation showing that we have such funds.
Further more, my elder son have been in detention in the last six years
following the death of my late husband for charges of State organized murder and
corrupt practices. he was just been released by the Supreme Court after the
president brokered a deal with my family regarding his freedom, and he is still
under interrogation about my late husband's assets and some vital documents..
Due to the current situation in the country and government attitude to my
family,I cannot make use of this money within, thus I seek your help in
transferring this funds out for investment than leaving the fund here and to
invest the money to profit my family Bearing in mind that you may assist me..l
have decided to part with 25% of the total sum.
I am seriously considering to settle down abroad in a friendly atmosphere like
yours as soon as this fund get into your account so that I can start all over
again if only you wish. I shall ask my son Djiba to come over to your country to
liaise with you. If this proposal satisfies you. please do not let me out to the
security as I am giving you this information in total trust and confidence and
please include your personal telephone and fax numbers.
I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal in good faith.
Your Urgent response is needed.
Regards and Allah Bless you.