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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "David Abbey" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:22:17 -0800
Subject: Can I Trust You In This Deal ?
Compliment of the day to you and your entire family. My name is Mr David Abbey.I am the Chairman of the Contract Award Committee, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources Nigeria, I wish to seek for your honest assistance to help me receive the sum of (US$15 MILLION) FIFTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS. This money came from some of the Contract we awarded to some foreign companies which have been duly executed and paid.
I will like to use my good position here to present you as the beneficiary of these US$15 Million so that the Bank will process and transfer it to any country of your choice.
Your assistance will be required in the following ways:
(1) Assist to receive the said sum into your bank account.
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment.
(3) Assist to manage the investments.
If you accepts to assist me in this proposed deal, I will share these $15 million equal with you.(50% for you and 50% for me).
To enable us proceed with this arrangement,i will need the following information from you to process the transfer of these money to you as the beneficiary.
1.Your Full Names.
2.Your Contact Address.
3.Your Personal Telephone Number.
Please get back to me soonest to let me know if you are willing to help me.