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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: law office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: law office <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 14:04:52 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: My Dear,
Â Avocat Romain K.DossouCouncilor At LawAv Steinmetz 01 BP 4959Tel: +229-68990512Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
My Name is Mr. Romain K.Dossou, a Private lawyer to Late Ing.Michael, a national of your country, who used to work as the Director of patrollers total Benin, on 31st of July 2012 my client and his family were involved in a car accident unfortunately lost their lives, my client had an account valued at about $12.5M (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) deposited in Bank here in Benin Republic i want to present you as the next of kin to my late client so that this amount will be paid to your account or new account you may chose to provide anywhere as legal beneficiary since you have the same last name , then you and i will share it 50% to you and 50% to me. So if you are interested on this transaction, i need your email address, telephone number age and your occupation/position send it to my private email: (email@example.com) so that I will send more details to you on how we are to work together for the transfer intoyour account . Thanks and God Bless Tel: +229-68990512
Best RegardsRomain K.Dossou Esq.