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 states 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: sarah eyedema <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 08:21:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Strictly Private and Confidential please
My dearest, Greetings and Compliment,
I am Sarah Eyadema , The Wife of late Gnassingbe Eyadema, the former president and Head of State Togo, My late Husband who die at 69 years Old, suffered a heart attack early Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005 in our hometown of Piya in southeastern Togo I and my family arrange immediately for his treatment in Europe , but as the good lord will's he die on his way to Europe.
I am seeking your assistance and co-operation in transfer of US$55,000,000.00 (FiftyFive Million United States Dollars Only) for private investments in your country. in view of the fact we will be great assistance to each other likewise developing a cordial business relationship. As I and my daughter , intend going into Real Estate investment in your Country.
This money came as a result of a payback contract deal between my late husband and Russian Firm on our country's Multi-billion Dollars Lome Steel Plant. The Russian partners returned my husbands share of US$55 Million after his death and lodged it with my husband?s security and finance Firm which I am a director. Right now the new Civilian Government has revoked our licenses that allow us to own a financial and oil company.
In view of these I acted very fast to withdraw the US$55 Million from the company's vault well and deposited it in a private erected security safe in a private security and finance company. On your consent, I shall expect you to contact me urgently to enable us discuss in details about this transaction. Bearing in mind that your assistance is needed to transfer this fund, I propose a commission of 30% (Thirty Percent) of the total sum to you for the expected services and assistance.
I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinarily confidential whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response, on this Strictly Private and Confidential please call +233-267064553
Mrs Sarah Eyadema