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 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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Rishel Zongo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 08:48:58 -0800 (PST)
Â Â Â Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you, I know this message will sounds very strange to you, but I have no choice than to risk my life to choose a stranger like you I have never seen before. We leave in a global world today, and with the help of internet technology one can easily communicate with one another all around the world without knowing him or she in person, what matters will be the trust and theÂ Informationâs you got about the person. In this case we can understand our self and work like one family.
Â Â Please, I donât want you to feel embrace by receiving such message from someone you have not seen before, but my dear, such is life some time in life things works in a way we never expected.
Â Â I will go ahead by informing you that in my account department of the bank of Africa Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso I discovered an abandoned sum of US$18 Million dollars in an account that belongs to one of the foreign customer here in my bank that died in a plane crash that almost took the whole life of the passengers on board.
Â Â Right now as I am sending this message to you, my bank is expecting any of his family member who will come for the claim of this fund, but since then all proved abortive. And thatâs my reason of contacting you. I need your total cooperation to execute this deal. Youâre in good position to claim this fund because I will furnish you with the accurate informationâs concerning the decease and the fund. You may decide to claim this fund by bank transfer as well as claiming it in case, that is to say coming down here after you have applied to the bank as the next of kin to the deceased fund.
Â Â Please my dear I assure you that this transaction is 100% free risk, as long as you will follow my instructions, do not allowÂ Â this great opportunity to skip away from us because of your ignorance when you receive this message. You will have 30% of the fund while 60% will be for me and 10% will be for any expenses that may occur if.
Mr. Rishel Zongo.