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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Maria Yaron" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:39:19 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: I await your prompt response immediately,
HELLO MY DEAR GOOD DAY,Â I want you to patiently readthis offer. I am Mrs.Maria Yaron Mamadou, the wife to the deceased former Headof Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa. My husband was the linkmanbetween the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries - OPEC and thepetroleum sector in a West African country. He also attends OPEC meetings constantlyin Geneva before his death caused by cardiac arrest in our home town.Â Through the sale of ourallocated oil quota in OPEC, he was able to make ($12.million USD) (TWELVEMILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)I want you to assist me to claim this money as icannot claim it directly because he made the deposit as a fund belonging to hisbusiness associate in order not to raise eyebrow since he was a civil servantduring that time, and the code of conduct bureau forbids him or his wife toacquire such amount of money.Â It is on this basis that I amcontacting you for assistance, if you will be interested, claim documents willbeen processed and sent to you. The documents with which the fund is depositedwill be amended to reflect you as the beneficiary so that you will be eligibleto collect the fund as his business associate.Â You shall be entitled to 30%of the total funds while the rest will be given to me on arrival in yourcountry for the up keeping of my only son and for further investment under yourkind control there in your country as I can not be able to do any investmenthere in West Africa due to the origin of the said fund.Â I will not fail to bring toyour notice that this business is risk free and doesn't have any negativeimplication. You should not entertain any fear as all modalities for the smoothand easy transfer of this fund have been finalized. If you can convenientlyassure me ofyour ability to keep this business very secret and confidential,you can write back to me for further details.I am waiting for your fast replyokay.Â Yours Faithfully,Mrs. Maria Yaron