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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Usman <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 05:37:59 +0900 (KST)
Subject: FROM MR ISSOUF USMAN
Although you might be apprehensive about my email as we have never met before. I am (Mr.Issouf Usman) the Head of file Department in BANK OF AFRICA In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of $7.3 million U.S.A dollars (Seven million three hundred thousand dollars) in an account that belongs to our decease customer who died in his country Lebanon in the year 2005 by his opponent. You can confirm the truth because:
I have made personal inquiries about the depositor and his next of kin but sadly none because, this money was secretly deposited and placed for an Investment before the death of late holder Mr. Rafic Hariri, Born in Lebanon in 1944, the late Rafic Hariri was a Lebanese self-made billionaire and business tycoon, and was five times prime minister of Lebanon. You can view this site for your confirmation <http://www. rhariri.com/general.aspx? Page content=biography>
That is why I ask that we work together, I will be pleased to work with you as trusted person and see that the fund is transferred out of my Bank into another Bank Account.
Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated Bank account we shall then share it in the ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you.
Should you be interested Please treat this business with utmost Confidentiality and send me the following?
Age and Sex...
Private phone number...
Current residential address...
Finally after that I shall provide you more details with the letter of application form which you will fill and apply in the bank for the fund, as this is an opportunity of a life time for both of us.
URGENT RESPOND NEED HAVE A GRAET DAY.
Remain Blessed. Yours, Faithfully.