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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 22:58:49 +0100
Subject: KINDLY RESPOND
How are you?. My name is Marie Matheson, I work with a Humanitarian Aid
Organization in Baqubah province of Iraq . Our main work is to establish
adequate Educational institutions and health care center for the internally
displaced people in the rural areas.
I got your address from a universal contact directory hence I decided to
write to you personal for an urgent discussion if you don't mind.
My main reason for writing to you is that I need your cooperation urgently.
I am planning to resign from my job due to security risk in this area
therefore I want to know if you would be interested to help me secure some
funds which I want to move out of Iraq as quick as possible
The total amount is 6.2 million USD (SIX MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND US
DOLLARS) and I want to know if you can be able to secure this money in your
country on my behalf,
Actually I do not know you in person to trust you enough but I hope that you
can prove to me that you are reliable and trust worthy as my spirit direct
me to you .
And i believe you can handle this transaction competently, Note there is no
risk involved because I will arrange how to move the fund to your country
through a very safe way but Can I trust you?.
Are you going to keep this money intact for me until I come and get it back
from you? Despite we both must have bidding agreements as we proceed.
I would like you to suggest any profitable venture in which I can invest
some part of the money so that I will have a source of income after my
Thank you very much and God bless you. I am looking forward to hearing from
Ms Marie Matheson