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 us 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)
- "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: "Mr. Japheth Barnabas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 00:41:22 +0100 (BST)
Subject: I AM WAITING URGENT FOR YOUR RESPOND
I work with a bank In West Africa ,Burkina faso .I
have a business
transaction for you.
In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of
$10.5 Million US
Dollars .In an account that belongs to one of our
foreign customer who
died along with his entire family in car bomb in Iraq .
Since his supposed next of kin died along side with him
at the Bomb
blast,there is nobody to claim the left over balance in
is therefore upon this discovery that I and other
officials in my
department decided to seek your assistance and present
you to the bank
as his Next of kin.
If you accept i would give you the guide lines of how
we can achieve
this transfer of the balance (10.5Million Dollars) to
we will shear the money 50-50%.
I expect that you will give me your telephone and fax
numbers for easy
communication with you and for more details.
Mr. Japheth Barnabas