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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hajiya Turai Yar'Adua" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 21:32:15 +0100
Subject: Re: Please Treat As Urgent Matter!!
I am Hajia Turai, The wife of former president Umaru Musa Yar-adua who died and was buried according to Islamic law on 5th of may 2010 after a long protracted illness. i have contacted you to assist me secure the sum of Twenty Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars($28,500,000) which he deposited with a commercial bank in Oversea before he died on the above date mentioned.
However, I want this transaction to be a secret between me and you so that the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of the family member will not know about it, as a matter of fact i must to tell you that all the vital information's of the bank where the fund deposited will be giving to you by me, I will urgently need your advice on investment options where we can invest this money in your country. Our sharing term and condition shall be discuses as soon as I hear from you.
Finally, I would want you to forward to me the below information's.
1) Your Full Name
2) Your Contact Address and Cell Phone Number.
i will be looking forward to hear from you.
Hajia Turai Yara'dua