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:
- "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. )
- ",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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "WIFE OF LATE PRESIDENT" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 03:20:32 -0000
Subject: SPECIALLY DIRECTED TO YOU FOR ASSISTANCE
I am Mrs. Hajia Turai Yar Adua, wife of the recent LATE president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar Adua, I got your contact from one of my late husbands personal directory recommended to be one of the foreigners he wanted to specially enter into partnership with before he died, hence I decided to contact you with the impression that you could be a trust worthy individual,
During my family meeting last night with selected concern members of the family, we discussed one of the matter pressing my family at the moment and we resolved and agreed to contact only you with details on our search for a God fearing person who will assist us to handle this particular matter on trust, having come across a recommendation note writing by my late husband concerning your good self,
The concerned selected members of late Alhaji Musa Yar Adua agreed to reveal this matter to only you on the basis that you will be of a kind assistance to us and work with us as family to achieve this goal, please keep it as a top most secret to avoid exposure that could affect future political carrier of my own children as you may wish know that my family is listed among the ruling families in the country,
DETAILS: I discovered fund deposit slip of Fourty Five Million USD in one of my late husband's brief case deposited by my late husband in a security company in Europe, the money was indicated as money mapped out for charity, after the death of my late husband, the present democratic president of the country who succeeded my late husband mandated my family to declare assets within a specified period therefore putting pressure to my family even after liquidating some of my family's assets alleged to be government diverted funds, this is why we held the meeting last night with selected concern members of my family and agreed to contact you for assistance, on the process my family decided to do change of ownership of the money (USD45,000,000.00) to your name as soon as you permit us to do so before we could declare assets to the present government of Goodluck Jonathan,
On this arrangement, could you indicate your interest by replying to this letter urgently with information stated herein needed to do change of ownership to your name, YOUR COMPLETE NAMES AND ADDRESS, DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER AND COPY OF ANY VALID IDENTIFICATION OF YOURS so that my family lawyer could do change of ownership to your name,
Upon your reply with mentioned information, I shall instruct my family Lawyer to do change of ownership to your name and copies of deposit document will be send to you with detail information on how to claim the money from security company, copy of my own International passport will be send to you for familiarity along with subsequent investment advise,
Conclusively, the family has resolved and agreed to compensate you with 20% of the total amount for your assistance and will employ your service to handle our investment in your Country as the CEO,
GO THROUGH ALL THESE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Looking forward in hearing from you,
Mrs. Hajia Turai Yar'Adua
CC: TO MYSELF TO CONFIRM ARRIVAL OF EMAIL MESSAGE TO YOU