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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "DR KIKA TELE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 09:55:32 +0300 (EAT)
Subject: From Dr Kika
My name is Dr KIKA and I am contacting you for
a mutual business relationship and investment.
I have some funds realized through sales of Crude Oil Blocs allocated to
me when in active Service with the Oil and Gas Industry and I need your
cooperation to invest the funds.
The first stage requires transferring the funds to your
account for subsequent investment.The fund will be processed and wire to your
account in form of Contractual sum.This measure is to avoid any
Agencies from suspecting the fund as Terrorist or Money Laundering.
I therefore want you to work with me as a partner. On
receipt of your response, I will send you full details of
the transaction and more information about myself. I
am waiting for your prompt response.
It is relevant to forward your Company details and cell
telephone number to quicken the processing of the documents.