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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: Abuboucar DICKO <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 05:47:45 -0700
Subject: Contact me urgently
Assaalamu Alaikkum my dear friend,
It is my pleasure to communicate with you on this fruitful
transaction; please I need your urgent partnership and cooperation to
provide a good and reliable bank account that can receive money from
Burkina Faso. Late Col. Muammar Gaddafihad sum of US$16. 4 Million
Left in our bank where I work and I happen to be the account officer
to the deposit and I want to present you in our bank as a Business
Associates to late Col. Muammar Gaddafi jointly in purchasing of Gold
from Burkina Faso mining cooperation.
Do not have any atom of fear in you why I had full courage and faith
to contact you to put claim on this fund is consequence upon the
failure of my several attempts to locate member of Late Col. Muammar
Gaddafi's family. As am talking to you right now through this email
our bank is waiting to release / transfer the above mentioned fund
to anyone who comes up to present himself or herself as Relation or
Business Associate to late Col. Muammar Gaddafi with a valuable
information about the fund.
I have all the valuable information and I am ready to supply it to
you to claim the fund and I want to guarantee you that this
transaction is 100% risk free and will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. All I
need from you now is your Honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and
Trust to enable us sees this transaction through. At the conclusion
of transferring the fund to your bank account you will have 40% of
the total fund as the account owner, 50% will be for me, and 3%
will be mapped out for any expense that occurs, while 7% will be set
aside as a free will donation to charity and motherless babies homes.
Please on your confirmation of this email indicating your interest, i
will furnish you with more information. Endeavor to let me know your
decision rather than keep me waiting. Contact me via this Email:
(firstname.lastname@example.org ). Note, treat this proposal as top secret but
if you are not interested please delete my letter from your computer.
Thank you I wait to hear from you soonest.
Mr. Abuboucar DICKO.