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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "a reliable and reputable person to handle this" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James Azib" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 21:23:20 -0700
Subject: Re: Hello Partner
I came to know you in my Private Search for a Reliable and Reputable person to handle this private transaction with, I know you have being receiving emails like this but I want you trust me on this project. I am Mr James Azib. I write you this proposal in good faith. I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit you and me, as the regional manager of MB (Malaysia) Labuan.; it is my responsibility to send in a financial report to my Head Office in the Capital City Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) at the end of each business year.. On the course of 2009 my Branch Business Report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made ($4,600,000.00) which my Head Offices are not aware of and will never be aware of it.
I have placed this funds on what we call escrow account without any Beneficiary. As an officer of this bank I cannot have direct connection to this money, so my aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this Money in your bank accounts or company account and in that cost you get 30% of the total funds as commission. There are practically no risks involved, it will be a bank-to-bank transfer. If you acknowledge this offer to work with me, and you find this Proposal Suitable for you do furnish me with your details Information.
Private Telephone Number:......
Sex and Age:.................
Occupation and Position:...........
Copy of ID passport:................
I will appreciate it very much, If this proposal is acceptable by you, Do not make undue advantage of the trust I have best owed on you, and I Assure you we can achieve it successfully
My Kind Regards
Mr James Azib