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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "ROHANI" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 11:57:32 -0800
Subject: FUNDS TRANSFER REPLY URGENTLY
I am sorry to bug your privacy. My name is Siti Rohani Salleh,i am the wife to late Abu Talib Yadin who happens to be a government contractor, trader and politician. My husband was divisional treasurer of trade and contractors of the Malaysian Indian Congress in Perak state. He was brutally murdered by opposing members of his party for his straightforwardness and accountability though the government claimed that it was a robbery attack but everybody know it was assassination by some people in government. I was lucky to stand this gruesome murder on the night of Saturday, September 15 2012 but they still stabbed me on my abdomen but I was lucky to escape. I was rush to the hospital by some neighbors and eventually the same assassin still came to the hospital in Malaysia just to take my life but eventually they miss their access to my ward. So I had to instruct our account manager to transfer our money to South Africa where I had to run and seek asylum/refugee. Presently I am i
n the government hospital now in
Africa undergoing treatment in the best government hospital, I have lodged the money in the bank since last year November but I can not make claim because I have declared myself as a refugee/asylum and that is why I need to bring in a representative who could use this money for charity work for the less privilege because I know I will die soon. I want to use the money to reach out to people who dont have charity homes and the less privilege and i believe GOD almighty will speak to you to help and use the money for the purpose I proposed. I am ready to give some percentage out of the money as long as you promise me you will spend 60 percent for charity work in my name.
Please copy link below and read more about the incident where my husband was murdered on 12th September 2012.
I write you to seek your assistance in the security of US$5.5million Deposited by me with a SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK before I seek refugee/asylum here. The South African reserve bank will allow you go on their online banking to transfer the funds. I am the only one with direct access and information of this deposit. I decided to seek help knowing that My days are numbered having received a call from the Reserve bank that they will turn the deposit to its government treasury if I fail to present a representative for the claim. I seek your assistance to be made the Administrator to this inheritance since I have no relative or children. I intend to introduce you to the director of the bank whom I deem very competent to guide you through this claimProcess. Please get back to me for more information on this inheritance. I was lead by the Almighty to send this email to you after serious thought of all emails I saw on the internet. Please treat this seriously. I have all documents of deposit of this fund to prove
I hope to hear from you soonest before I go. Thank you. send your reply to me so that we can finalize this transfer within 3 days, I have all documentation to back up this claim, this is my email address: email@example.com
Mrs.Siti Rohani Salleh.
Reply me to: firstname.lastname@example.org