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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Ms Zaria Kabba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 12:12:25 +0100 (BST)
Subject: My Offer
Hello dear, Please accept my apologies if this request does not meet your personal ethics as it is not intended to cause you any embarrassment in what ever form.
I humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in the transfer and investment of my inheritance funds from my late father who died mysteriously. Am Mis.Zaria Kabba, I am 20years old, am only child of my late parents Mr. and Mrs.Amadu Kabba. I got your contact email from international domain database and I decided to contact you for this offer, that is based on trust and youâre outstanding.
I need your assistance in transferring the fund to your account for investments purpose. The transaction is 100% legal and risk free on both sides hence you are going to follow my instruction till the fund is transferred and secured into your account.
It was very evident that my father was poisoned to death. In my culture, when a man dies, if he does not have a male child, the brother takes his property leaving the wife and the daughters empty handed. This is the exact case with me as I am the only daughter, I lost my mother when I was barely a year old and my father refused to re-marry despite all persuasion by friends and relatives, because he felt solely responsible for my mother's death, as he only concentrated on his business that he rarely pays attention to family affairs, He ensured that I will had everything that I wanted. It was as a result that he made me the next of kin to his fund deposit with the bank and stated that in the event of any eventuality, I should have a direct access to the funds only when I am 25 years otherwise, I should have a guardian to intercede on my behalf for the release of the funds to me for investments purpose.
Unlucky he passes away and I wanted to transfers the fund to over sea for investments purpose due to my current situation. Please if you are interested in this offer kindly give me your full assurance, I has decided to contact you hope that you will find this offer interesting to assist me, on your confirmation of this message indicate your interest, I will furnish you more details, I made a solemn vow through God as soon as we get the fund sucessfuly transferred into your bank account i will offer 10% of the total fund to the orphanage over there in your country and 20% for your kind effort out of the total fund, while 70% will invest in profitable business and managing by you while I continue my studies. Endeavor to let me know your decision.
Miss. Zaria kabba