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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 05:05:59 -0430
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
Mr Useni Idris an accountant working with one of the Commercial Bank
here in Ivory Coast, I am contacting you on
business of transferring the sum of Eight Million United States
Dollar (US$8 million) into a safe foreign account and it must
be very confidential.I needs your help to come out stand as the next of
to late Mr.Bouchout Geoffroy customer of our bank who
died in plane crash on Monday 2ND September 1998
14:22 UK while they were flying from New York to
However i contacted you so that the proceeds of his account
with our Bank can be paid transfer to your account and then you
and I will share the money fifty fifty, I have all the formalities to
legalize it on your name,all the modalities is RISK FREE for,I will furnish
you with all the vital information's regarded to the
Thank for good understand and hope to hear from you
Mr Useni Idris