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:
- "million us 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: "Dr. Gius Obaseki" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 10:23:40 -0800
Subject: Treat as Urgent and Read Carefully ...
I hope my email meets you well. My name is Dr. Gius Obaseki, Former Group Managing Director Nigeria National Petroleum Co-operation. I have about 11Million US dollars which is presently in a bank in the United Kingdom. I have made necessary arrangement on how to move this fund from the bank.
I deposited this fund on 14th of October, 2003 in a bank in London, nobody is aware of this fund except my wife and my colleague who have successfully move out of the country with their family.
I want to present you as unpaid contractor during my tenure; all legal documents will be on your name. The most important, can we trust you when the funds get to your custody? Regarding percentage, I want to officially announce that you take 45% and 50% for me and my family, 5% will be for the privileges if you desire, and provided you will work according to my instruction. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place or new bank account where this fund can be transferred.
If you are interested I will furnish you with more details. But the whole process is simple and we must keep a low profile at all times.
Your urgent response is needed.
Thanks and be blessed.
Dr. Gius Obaseki.