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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: flora erick <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 08:16:30 +0000
Subject: Hello, Dear friend.
Hello, Dear friend.
I humbly wish to seek your assistance in this very important matter that need trust and understanding. I am pleased to get across to you for urgent investment at your County. My name is Mrs. Flora Erick, I am a banker by profession West Africa, I am chief operational manager in accountant department.
I am writing in respect of a foreign customer of my bank who died (7) years ago. In his file he has a deposited sum of (Ten Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars, $10.800,000.00), without no WILL or next of kin. I want you to act as the foreign beneficiary next of kin of the fund, by providing your bank account where the fund will be transferred for immediate investment on any viable project, since no one has come up to be the next of kin.
The banking ethics here does not allow such money to stay more than 5 years without claim hence the money will be recalled to the government treasury as unclaimed after this long period of dormancy. But i don't want the money to go in government treasury. So now, I have all the details and required information to make you the beneficiary to the funds.
Get back to me for more details to actualize this deal with me.
RegardsMrs. Flora Erick