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 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Legal Alliance Chambers" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:34:06 -0500
Subject: Assalamua Laikum
I am writing you once more to notify you that I need your assistance in the claim of $15,100,000.00 Fifteen Million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars in a Financial Institution belonging to my deceased client who died couple of years ago.
Since his death, all effort to reach his next of kin proved abortive.
The Financial Institution had issued to me a notification letter requesting me to provide my deceased client's next of kin otherwise the fund will be remitted into Government treasury
Therefore, it is upon this discovery that I decided to seek for your assistance to present you as the next of kin to my deceased client since the bank has given me an ultimatum.
Note: Once the fund is transferred into your account, we shall share it in a mutual agreement of 60% for me 40% for you.
In receipt of your positive response, I will update you with the entire legal requirement for this claim.
Barr. Hassan Abdullah