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 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: sama issa <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 19:01:15 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU?
CAN I TRUST YOU?
I am Mr sama issa, personal Assistant to the Branch Manager of Africa Development Bank (A.D.B) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso I want to inquire from you if you can handle this transaction for mutuaal benefits/life opportunity for you and me.
The transaction is about seeking your consent to present you as the next of kin/ beneficiary of the US$5.5 million dollars,In one of our foreign customer account, who is an investor, Gold Merchant and Federal Government contractor.(Dr. Ahmed Khan. From Iraq) who died along with his entire family during the Iraq war,in 2006.
The Fund is currently in a suspense account awaiting claim, the bank made a public notice that they are ready to release this fund to any of his relatives abroad.
In that regard, i decided to seek your consent for this prospective opportunity.
Have it at the back of your mind, that the transaction does not involve any risk and does not need much engagement from you, since i am familiar with this kind of transaction being an insider. Necessary modalities will be worked out to enable us carry out the fund claim under a legitimate arrangement.
I have resolved to offer you 40% of the total fund, 10% for sundry expenses that maybe incurred during the process of executing this transaction and 50% percent for me.I will give you more details about the transaction when I receive your affirmative response.
I m waiting to hear from you soon.
My Sincere regards,
Mr. sama issa