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:
- "demurrage " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Mr.Silver Omar" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 11:40:05 -0200
Subject: Nice reaching you with this humble offer!
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship
with you.The statistics shows that the Economy of your country is getting
better and will be more
profitable in few years to come. I got your contact from the directory of
international business who's who following my efforts in searching for a
trustworthy person to work
I will need your co-operation to finalize a business venture and to invest
in your country with you as my partner/manager of the proposed company.I am
Dr. Silver Omar, 48 years
of age and formal personal assistant to Late Mr.Omar Odinba Bongo, the
President of Republic of Gabon who died on 08/06/2009.Before the death of
my boss we have some good cash
with a Security Company and no member of his family knows about this
deposited outside my country by my late boss as a family treasure in a
metal trunk boxes to avoid seizure
and much demurrage from the security company.And i have with me the
original certificate of deposit with me.
The amount is US$45.5M (Fourth Five Million Five hundred thousand United
State Dollars), in Security Company and my priority is where to invest this
fund outside Africa. I
urgently need your assistance in providing a reliable and genuine trade or
company where i can invest the fund and immediately meet you in your
country for settlement.
I urge that you help me to transfer this fund to your country for
investment purposes on the followings below:
2). private schools
3). Real Estate/Five star hotel
In view of the above we will require you to check your work schedule and
let us know the earliest possible date you can visit Ghana to enable us
sign a memorandum of
understanding, retrieve the boxes, open a non-residential bank account, pay
in the funds for subsequent wire transfer in installments as you wish to
your account overseas for
investments.I will be pleased to offer to you 25% Of the total fund for
your kind assistance.
Please if you are ready to help me invest in your country, please reply me
with the information requested below:
Direct mobile / phone,scanned copy of your international passport to enable
me send you an invitation letter for you to secure an entry visa to Ghana
from our Embassy in your
Look forward for a good working relationship with you, so if you can be of
,any assistance or have an interest, I shall wait for days and if I do not
hear from you, I shall look
for another person. Your urgent response is expected here:(
firstname.lastname@example.org).Please treat this information as top secret. No
one knows my where about and I want to
maintain that secrecy in order to be safe.I am currently seeking asylum in
Ghana where we shall soon meet.
Thanks & God Bless You.
Dr. Silver Omar.