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 states 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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Amadou Zongo" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 07:59:51 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: GOOD NEWS MY FRIEND.
GOOD NEWS MY FRIEND.
My Dear Friend,
My name is Mr. Amadou Zongo, I am the manager of bank of Africa (B.O.A) here in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso, West Africa. I have a business proposal in the tune of (USD $15.5 Million) Fifteen million five hundred thousand United States Dollars only. After the successful transfer;We shall share in ratio of 40% for you and 60% for me.
Should you be interested,So we can commence all arrangements? And I will Give you more information about this business proposal on how we would handle it for the successful achievement of the funds into your bank account. Please treat this business with utmost confidentiality and send me the Following information's of yours bellow to enable us commence with the transaction immediately:
(1) Full names.....................................
(2) Private phone number....................
(3) Current residential address............
(5) Age and Sex...................................
Mr. Amadou Zongo.
Manager, auditing section.
Bank of Africa (B.O.A)