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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.wahad Amir" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 06:06:06 -0800
Subject: Mr.Wahad amir (BIB),
Mr.Wahad amir (BIB)
I am Mr.Wahad amir (BIB) Currently the Audit and Account Unit Manager in BANQUE INTERNATIONALE DU BURKINA (BIB) Ouagadougou West Africa, my aim of
contacting you is to collaborate with me to transfer the sum of ($18.5million Million Dollars) Dollars into your personal or Company bank account in your country of origin for investment purpose. I am going to invest this money in your country through your
assistance and help, whereby you will be myInvestment assistant director.
Please if you are interested and ready to receive the money into your bank account i will send you the details of the fund and when replying
i want you to tell me the type of investment that will be encourage for both of us to invest so that we can talk about the conditions.
Please endeavor to include your full names and address, private phone and fax number for easy communication. Finally keep our dealings very private and confidential as i wait your urgent response.
1) Your full names............
2) Your age................
3) Your full address.........
4) Your marital status.........
5) Your occupation/Profession.......
6) Your direct telephone number........
7) Your fax number................
8) Your country of origin ...........
9) Your present location/country.......
10) Your religion.....................
Mr.Wahad amir (BIB)