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)
- 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.ISSOUF" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "MR.ISSOUF" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 21:45:12 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PLEASE HELP ME
Â PLEASE HELP ME
I am Mr. Abdoul Issouf ,I work for BOA bank Ouagadougou Burkina Faso. I have a business proposal which concerns the transfer of $13.5 M USD into a foreign account. Everything about this transaction shall be legally done without any problem. If you are interested to help me, I will give you more details as soon as I receive your positive response. You will be entitled to 40%, 60% will be for me,. If you are willing to work with me, send me immediately the information listed bellow.
If you are willing to work with me, Kindly respond to my proposal via my private email address for security and confidential reasons (email@example.com )
Mr. Abdoul Issouf