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:
- 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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Zainy Danjuma <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Zainy Danjuma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:13:14 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP
Â Dearest in Christ.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; I am Mrs. Zainy Danjuma an ageing widow suffering from long time illness. I am currently admitted in a private hospital here in Abidjan the capital city of Cote DâIvoire I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Late Dr Ibrahim Danjuma, the sum of US$5.500,000.00 which he deposited in a Security Company here and I need a very honest and God fearing Christian that can use this funds for God's work and 15% out of the total funds will be for your compensation for doing this work of God. I found your email address from the internet and decided to contact you.
Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord's work.
Yours Sister in the Lord,
Mrs. Zainy Danjuma.