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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Turai Yar Adua <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 07:13:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Please Reply Urgent
I am the former First Lady of Nigeria Hajia Turai Yar'Adua, a wife of the late Mr. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who died on the 5th of May 2010 of heart problems. I contacted you because of my need to deal with a person of your ability, though I haven?t met you before but I understand that some times in life one must take risk in other to survive. Since the death of my husband, former Nigeria president my family had been subjected to all sorts of harassment and intimidation with lots of negative reports emanating from the government and the press about my husband.
The present administration of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who is now Nigeria president has also ensured that all our assets are seized some of our bank account is frozen, am also not allowed to go away from presidential Villa ASO ROCK ABUJA.
It is in view of this that I seek your co-operation and assistance in the transfer of the sum of US$15,400,000.00 being the very last of my family fund in my possession and control. Please note that this is the only family hope.
My purpose of contacting you is for you to assist me and receive the fund; we will be able to invest the funds under your control till such a time when I will be free from my present predicament. I will accept to share the fund 40% to you and 60% to me and my entire family.
Please visit this website for more details on my husband?s death.
Please ensure to keep this proposal very secret and confidential for obvious reasons, for your interest to handle this business with me confirm me the below information.
Your full Name: