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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: FREDERICK LEONARDS <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 08:30:16 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION SIR,AWAITING YOUR URGENT RESPOND
FROM MR. FREDRICK LEONARD.
MANAGER BILL AND EXCHANGE DEPT
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB)
This message might come to you as a surprise. However, it all just my
urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact you for this
transaction. I got your contact from yahoo tourist search when I was
searching for a foreign partner.
I assured of your capability and reliability to champion this business
opportunity when I prayed to God or Allah about you. I am a banker by
profession in Nigeria and
currently holding the post of assistant foreign remittance director in
I have the opportunity of transferring the left over funds
($15 million dollars) of one of my bank clients who died along with
his entire family on Monday 31st July 2007 in a plane crash. Hence I
am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared
between us in the ratio of 60 / 40% it you agree to my business
Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as
soon as I receive your return mail immediately you receive this
letter. Please indicate your willingness by sending the below
information for more clarification and easy communication.
(1)Your full name.................
(2)Your contact address...........
(3)Your Tel and Fax number........
(5) Your occupation..............
Trusting to hear from you immediately,
Thanks & best regards,