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:
- "hundred thousand u.s 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: MissHaajar Usman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 01:01:18 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Dearest In Mind,
Dearest In Mind,
Greetings From Miss Haajar Usman
I humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in the transfer and investment of my inheritance fund (USD 9.5M) Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars from my late father who died mysteriously last year.
I will like to further introduce myself to you. My name is Mis.Haajar Usman, I am age of 19 years girl, am only child of my late parents Mr.and Mrs.Alhaji Usman Jabbar
It was very evident that he was poisoned to death. In my culture, when a man dies, if he does not have a male child, the brothers shares his property leaving both the wife and the daughters empty handed including the house they live in. This is the exact case with me as I am the only daughter of my father. I lost my mother when I was barely a year old and my father refused to re-marry another wife because he felt solely responsible for my mothers death.
This is so because he concentrated much on his businesses that he rarely pays attention to domestic affairs. He was always travelling taking care of his businesses that he did not notice when my mother took ill. He thought it was a minor illness and was ignorant of this. My mother on her own resorted to self-medication. It was not until the illness degenerated that my father took my mother to hospital where she was diagnosed to find out that hypatitis had eaten deep into her blood stream. She didn't last long before she died.
This happened when I was barely a year old. Based on this, my father could not forgive himself easily because of it and said he was responsible for her death as he could have saved her if only he had paid attention to the things at home rather than concentrating much on his businesses.
Despite all entreaties by friends and relatives, he refused to remarry but ensured that I had everything that I wanted. It was as a result of this that he made me the next of kin to his fund deposit with the bank and stated that in the event of any eventuality, I should have a direct access to the fund only when I am 25 years of age otherwise I should have a guardian/partner intercede on my behalf for the release of the funds to me. Unfortunately, he died late last year and I am 19 years of age currently.
This is why I have contacted you to serve as a guardian to me and as my foreign partner for the transfer and investment of the fund overseas, My uncles does not know about the fund because he had already taken my father's houses and other properties because I am a girl and he said I do not have rights for any property.
He have requested to have my father's bank papers but I simply told him that I do not know where he kept them. He took the house in the village while the houses in the town were sold out.
Right now i am in the hotel and do sincerely want to travel out of the country. This can only happen when I have secured the release and transfer of the funds into your bank account.This why it is important that we have a plan on the type of lucrative business that we can invest the funds on.
I had at various times had discussions with the director of international remittance unit of the bank where my father deposited the funds and I was assured that once, I have someone who would be willing to receive the funds on my behalf, they shall commence all proceedings to effect the release and transfer of the funds into the person's designated account.
Now, that you have signified your interest to partner with me, it would only be very necessary if you contact the bank and request for the release and transfer of my inheritance fund into your nominated account for the purpose of investment and to further have me come over to your country to continue with my studies.
I shall be giving you the banks contact details as soon as I hear back from you so that you will go ahead and contact the bank.
PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH THIS EMAIL ADDRESS (email@example.com)
Your urgent response will be appreciated
Talk to you the more.
Miss Haajar Usman