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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Sarafina Deng <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 10:15:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Hello Dearest one,
Hello Dearest one,
I am Ms Sarafina Deng, I am seeking for your assistance in retrieval and
transfer of the total sum $US 4.5 million dollars to you. The money in
question is deposited here in Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) by my late
father Chief Robert Deng. My life is in danger because this country is in
serious political crisis. I will give you more details as we proceed.
Thanks and God bless you.
Ms Sarafina Deng.