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)
- "i will like you to " (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: Omar Wade <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 12:57:02 +0000
Subject: Business Proposal
Good day and sorry for the way this email came to you as I'm in desperate need of your help to transfer the sum of $17.2 Million Dollars belonging to an aid to Late Colonel Gadahafi whose name I cannot mention for security reasons although he also died in a fierce fighting in Sirte, Libya and before his death I was his personal accounts Manager here in Burkina Faso where He secretly lodged this money without anybody's knowledge except me and the management of the Bank.
I want you to apply to my Bank as the next of kin and beneficiary of the said fund as I will provide you with all the information that can lead to the release of the money into your account as long as you can bear the cost of procuring certain legal certificates that will be needed to change the fund in your name which must be presented to the Bank before the fund is released to you as the nearest person and in confirmation of your interest, I will like you to furnish me with the below information as 60% of the fund will be for me and 40% for you :
Your Country of origin..............
Your age and contact number..........
I shall furnish you with the details of the deal once I receive the above requirements and please feel free to delete the message if you are not interested and do keep the secret for me so that I can look for another reliable person.
Thanks in anticipation.