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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us 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)
- ",000,000" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: sam kofi atta mills <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 11:46:32 +0000
Due to the sudden death of my husband John Evans Atta Mills the former president of Ghana from 7 January 2009 to 24 July 2012, I and my son have been thrown into a state of hopelessness by the present administration. i have lost confidence with any body within my country. I inherited the sum of ninety five million US Dollars ($95,000,000,00) which I intend to use for investment purposes specifically in your country. I got your contacts through personal research and had to reach you through this medium. I will give you more details when you reply. Due to security network placed on my daily affairs, i want all of our communications to go through my son. I can't visit the embassy so that is why i have contacted you. I will be happy if you can receive this funds and keep it safe I assure you something good out of the funds in return for your assistance. I will need your telephone/mobile/fax numbers so that we can commence communication. please read and reply back asap with your full name and telephone number. Please note: we are not going to ask you to send your account details to us until you meet face-to-face with my son in the bank's vault in any of these three countries of your choice: Madrid Spain, Istanbul Turkey, or Paris France. Best regards, Mrs. Rudy Addo Mills