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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Asif Zabari Esq." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 13:37:16 +0100
Subject: Investment Opportunity
My name is Mr. Asif Zabari a senior private attorney to the formal Minister of Trade (MoT) Iraq . I am making this contact with you based on the reliable information available to my firm courtesy of internet business index and confirmed by our local chambers of commerce and industry. I am presently in the United Kingdom.
I hereby offer you a further explanation of the deal:- Mr. Al-Sudani was the formal Minister of Trade before the parliament's in Iraq ousted him over alleged corruption in his department. My Client (MR. FALAH AL-SUDANI), has as a result of trust and Confidence has mandated that I search for a Reliable and trustworthy foreign partner, who Will help receive some funds, which was deposited in a Security Company in Europe Totalling US$18.500,000.00 ( Eighteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) into a personal, company or any reliable foreign bank account for safe keeping for a Short period of time, since his bank accounts Within and outside the country have all been Frozen by the authorities. I would refer you to this Website for further information: - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/25/iraq-trade-minister-resig_n_207297.html .
However the above said money is presently in the secured custody of a security company in Europe .
Now, to enable us successfully commence this transaction, I would like to know you better to gain the trust that is needed in this transaction. Therefore, I would want you to send to me a brief resume of yourself and company profile.
i. Your full names
ii. Private telephone & fax number. iii. Companys details.
Once am in receipt of this, I will feel a lot safer to divulge vital aspect of this transaction to you and provide you with the needed documents that will enable you make claim to the funds.
There is no risk involved what so ever on this transaction, these funds will be received in your favour upon proper application. If you are interested in this business, please urgently contact me on this private and confidential e-mail address. Please endeavour to keep this business confidential.
I Wait your urgent reply.
Mr. Asif Zabari Esq.