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:
- "keep it confidential" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Adamu Joel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Adamu Joel <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:47:07 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: I have a project for you
Â Good morning,
I am Mr. Adamu Joel a senior staff with a financial institution here in Burkina Faso. I want to let you know that the project is all about the transfer of the sum of US$3.7M which belongs to the late son of Libyan leader Mr.Mutassim Gaddafi, who was killed by the rebel forces On 20 October 2011 along side with his father..
Since after his death non member of his family have come forth for the claim of this fund and this is why I am contacting you so that you can act as his business partner and I will guide you on what to do for this fund to be approved and transfered to your own bank account in your country after which we will share it 50% each party.
Please do let me know if you are ready and willing to to assist me in this important project , and ensure you keep it confidential because of my position with the bank.
I am waiting to hear from you soon.