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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Frank Bidu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 09:11:00 -0800 (PST)
I am Frank Bidu, a solicitor at law. Am the personal attorney/sole executor to a national of your country, hereinafter referred to as 'my client' who died 2001 in a car crash with his immediate family in east London.
He left a deposit of (£9.8millionGBP) your consent is needed to present you as the next of kin since you have same last name, I have documents that would confer you the legal right for the claim, we share the money, 60% to me 40% to you. Send me your Phone number so we discuss on this transaction.
Have a nice time
Frank Bidu, Esq.