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)
- "million united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Nadel Halioua <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:23:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: A benefiting message!(Mrs Nadel Halioua)
Greetings to you and your family, I am the manager of bill and exchange in THE BANK , i have a business of 2.5 Million United State Dollars to be transfer to your account for investment in your country , if you are ready to assist me get back to me, i will give you full details on how the fund will be transfer to you.
Be rest assure that everything will be handled confidentially because, this is a great opportunity we cannot afford to miss, as it will make our family profit alot.
It has been 5 years ago, that most of the greedy African Politicians used our bank to Launder money overseas through the help of their Political advisers.
Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of Africa was gold and oil money that was supposed to have been used to develop the continent.
The Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity to divert part of the funds hence I am aware that there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers were being closed after transfer.
I acted as the Account Officer to most of the politicians and when I discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act,I also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one cared to ask me because the money was too much for them to control As I am sending this message to you, I was able to divert the sum of two million five hundred united state dollars ($2.5M) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank.
Now the bank is very anxious to know who is the real beneficiary of the funds because they have made a lot of profits with the funds.
It has been five years now and most of the politicians are no longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas,as majority of them are not in power again, because their tenure has expired.
The $2.5 Million Dollars has been lying in the bank as unclaimed fund.
I will soon retire from the bank and without wasting time i will like the fund to be release into your account.
So that i will come to your country for the sharing of the fund, The money will be shared 50% for me and 40% for you while the other 10% will be for the orphanage home with the poor people.
There is no one that is going to ask you any question about the funds because everything is well secured by me .
If you are interested in this transaction, do not fail to reply me back, but if you are not interested delete my message from your box ok.
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Mrs Nadel Halioua.