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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Kafando <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 04:55:35 +0100 (BST)
Subject: How are you today........?
It will be a surprise for you to receive this mail. I am Mr Albert Kafando, the director of the account & auditing dept, at the African Development Bank (ADB) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso West Africa.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of $5.5m us dollars out from (ADB) into your bank account in your country as the real next of kin to our foreign client who died on a sudden motor accident along Togo road on his way back to Burkina Faso with his entire family his wife and his only child on 6th Nov. 2003.
Pls i need urgent transfer of this fund immediately to your account to enable me and my family come down to meet you in your country for my own shear from the total amount with you according to the percentage agreed and also invest with you if your country is good for both of us to make and establishment with the fund when the fund enter into your bank account.
(2) Residential adress..............
(4) Private telephone.............
I am waiting for your urgent response!!!
Thanks and remain blessed.
Mr Albert Kafando.
African Development Bank
(ADB) Burkina Faso.