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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Emmanuel Anukwu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 20:13:16 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL DEAL
Greetings From Mr.Emmanuel Anukwu,
I understand that through Internet is not the best way tolink up with you because of the confidentiality which my proposaldemands.
However, I have already sent you this same letter one monthago,but I am not sure if it did get to you since I have not heardfrom you, hence i am constrain to reach you through the Internetwhich has been abused over the years.
I am Mr Anukwu Emmanuel, the personal account officer to thegreat late diseased who has an account in one of our banks here inBurkina Faso . The account was opened in 2001 and he died in 2004without a written or oral WILL and since 2004 nobody has operatedon this account again hence the money is floating and if I do notremit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing andGovernment of Burkina Faso will confiscate the funds for theirpersonal use which I personally don't want such incident tohappen being that this is a great opportunity for me and you.
My contact is for you to please assist me to transfer thefund($13.5000.000.00 USD) Thirteen Million Five Hundred ThousandUnited State Dollars from African Development Bank here inBurkina Faso to an overseas account. First, I must solicit yourstrictest confidence in this transaction. This is by virtue of itsnature as being utterly confidential. I am sure and have confidenceof your ability and reliability to prosecute a transaction of thisgreat magnitude.
Please indicate your interest immediately for us to proceed.I shall feed you with full details of this transaction upon receiptof your reply towards this proposal.
All the legal papers will be processed in your acceptance. Inyour acceptance of this deal, we request that you kindly forward tous your letter of acceptance;
1. Full name
2: Your private telephone and Fax numbers.
3. Occupations and Nationality.
4. Date Of Birth
5. Present Location
6. E-mail Address
To enable us file necessary documents at our high courtprobate division for the release of this sum of money.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mr.Emmanuel Anukwu email@example.com