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)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mahmood Sawadogo <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 18:48:36 +0000
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise, please pay attention and understand my reason of contacting you today through this email; my name is Dr. Mahmood Sawadogo , Bill and Exchange Manager in Bank of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso. In my department, during the Auditing of the year 2010, I discovered an abounded sum of $10.500.000.00 USD that belongs to one of our Late customer, a prominent man who unfortunately lost his life and entire family in the plane crash in the year 2003
I desperately need your assistance to secure and move this huge sums of money left behind by my late client to the tune of $10.500.000.00, (ten million Five hundred thousand Dollars) out from Bank Of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina Faso to your own account, he executed contract through Department of Work and Housing here in Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso and the mentioned money above is his money left in our bank before his death. Meanwhile, for your smoothness of this transaction, I will pay you 40% of the total sum for your co-operation in this matter. If you know that you are interested and capable to handle this business transaction, come up with the information's showed below:-
1. Your Full Name:
2. Your Phone Number:
3. Your Age:
4. Your Sex:
5. Your Occupations:
6. Your Address:
7. Your Country:
As possible all these information's are submitted to me, I will immediately send you the next of kin application form so that you will proceed with the transaction by sending the Form to BOA bank for the transferring of this fund into your bank account.
Dr Mahmood Sawadogo.