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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Mamuda Bello" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 08:37:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: I NEED YOUR FULL ASSISTANCE PLEASE.
FROM DR. MAMUDA BELLO.
BILL AND EXCHANGE DEPARTMENT.
BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A)
OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO.
PHONE: +226 75 37 24 35.
I am DR.MAMUDA BELLO, A Staff of BOA Bank in Burkina Faso West Africa. If it may interest you, I have a Business transaction, and I want you to please indicate your interest to receive the transfer of US$10Million Dollars.
Your duty is to stand as the next of kin or business partner to the late customer whose account is presently dormant in the bank.
PERCENTAGE RATIO: Note that 40% being ( $4,000,000.00 ) will be your share in respect of your assistance and account provide for the transfer, 50% ( $5,000,000.00 ) will be my share being the pioneer of the business while the rest 10% ( $1,000,000.00 ) will be used for expenses and to install a joint company in your country which will bear our names in particular and whatever profit made out from this company will be used in helping the less privileges, motherless babies home and charity organization in the world.
If you are willing to do the transaction with me, get back to me with the following below:
1. PERSONAL MOBILE NO................
2. YOUR OCCUPATION...................
3. YOUR PRIVATE EMAILADDRESS.........
4. YOUR AGE..........................
Contact me for more details if you are interested, so we can proceed. We have only a week to execute the transfer as soon as you reply and show your interest.
Thanks for your co-operation,
00226 75 37 24 35.