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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Denmark; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: AGBAHE Mawuena Koffi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 19:33:34 +0800 (CST)
Subject: From AGBAHE Mawuena Koffi.
I am Mr. AGBAHE Mawuena Koffi, a Private lawyer to late Mr.
Alexander H. , a national of your country, who used to work as the Director of
petroliers total Benin, on 31st of July 2010 my client and his family were
involved in a car accident unfortunately lost their lives, my client had an
account valued at about $9. 5Million USD United State Dollars) deposited in Bank
here in Benin Republic,i want to present you as the next of kin to my late
client so that this amount will be paid to you as the beneficiary, then you and
i will share it 50% to you and 50% to me. So Please if you are interested, i
need your email address, your full name, telephone number age and your
occupation/position send it to my private email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I
will send more details to you. Thanks and God Bless
I await your reply
Your country of
Attorney at law Esq.