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)
- "into 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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Umaru Hassan <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 18:05:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: I AM WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY
Â Dear Friend,
This message may Surprise you. Please accept my apology if it does embarrass you. However, itâs my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact you. I am a bank manager. I have an opportunity to transfer US$5.5 Million Dollars. I'm Inviting you for a business deal where this money can be share between us, I intend to offer to you 30% of the total sum on a provision of a foreign account where this fund can be remitted immediately.
Meanwhile, arrangement to facilitate the easy transfer of this fund without problem has already been put in place by my humble self, if you are interested kindly reply to indicate your interest, then i shall intimate you with the method of application and how you can apply to the bank for the release and transfer of the fund into your nominated bank account. In fact , the bank law stipulates that if such fund remains unclaimed over a given period of time, precisely 8 years ,the bank shall automatically transfer the fund into the bank treasury account as unclaimed or lost fund .Hence no one is putting claims to such funds , I want to also inform you that once you apply to this funds , no other person owns the right or eligibility to this account any more therefore the bank sees you as the true next of kin by making you the genuine owner of this account legally , even if the law has to prevail you are genuine and ascertain with all proofs of eligibility
that I shall intimate you with later on, as we proceed in this transaction .
This account has been dormant since 2002 that i have been monitoring it .I do advice you to keep this as a top secret. I wait for your urgent reply once you are interested to be my partner kindly send the below informationâs
1. YOUR FULL NAMEâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
3. MARITAL STATUSâ¦â¦â¦â¦
4. YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBERâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦