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:
- "million 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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "mariam abacha" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Hajia Mariam Abacha <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Hajia Mariam Abacha <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:12:21 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: HELLO FROM Hajia Mariam, REPLY
>From Hajia Mariam Abacha
No. 12 Gra, Fegge Kano,
Let me introduce myself, i am the former Military head of state first lady of federal republic ofÂ Nigeria, my names are Hajia Mariam Abacha,the wife of the late Nigerian president, General Sani Abach.
My husband was the president of Nigeria until he died on 8 June 1998. My husband made deposit of usd27 Million Dollars which i want you to partner with my lawyer to claim the money for an investment in Real Estate, or Factory in your country as no one knows about this because the Nigerian officials are after my husband properties that is why i need your assistance to claim the money out from this country for joint investment, my lawyer will update you with all the legal document to back you up for the claim.
If you are interested to claim this fund on my behalf, please get back to me with the below information as to enable me introduce you to my lawyer who will work with you to claim the money from the bank where is been Deposited presently.
1YOUR FULL NAME
2 CONTACT ADDRESS
3 TELEPHONE NUMBERS
4 YOUR AGE
5 YOUR OCCUPATION
6 MEANS OF ID
Please i want you to keep this as a confidential matter.But if you are not interested you can remove it and do not let anyone else to know. My private email (email@example.com)
Hajia Mariam Abacha.