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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: Abu DICKO <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:19:29 +0000
Subject: With due Respect
>From the desk of Dr Abu DICKO
Bill and Exchange Manager
In one of the banks in West Africa
I know this mail will come to you as a big surprise; as the bill and
exchange manager in one of the banks here in Burkina Faso west Africa
I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident
Iâm about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both
In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of 30.5m us dollars in
an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (Dr. Eric
MORGAN) 59 years American citizen who died 11th September 2001with
event of terrorist attack on World Trade Canter.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring the mentioned sum
Immediately to your account, the money has been dormant for years in
our bank here without any body coming for the claim, I don't want the
money to go into our bank treasury as an abandoned or unclaimed fund,
so this is the reason why I contacted you, so that we can release the
money to you as the nearest person to the deceased customer.
please I will like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and
delete if you are not interested and if you are interested reply for
my urgent attention, upon receipt of your reply, I will send you full
details on how the business will be executed and also note that you
will have 30% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to transact the
business with me and 10% will be for any expenses that will occur
during the transfer why I will have 60% as my own share.
Dr. Abu DICKO
E-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org)