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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found 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: Ben Ume <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Ben Ume <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:18:51 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ATTENTION PLS!
Â ATTENTION PLS!
Please I want you to read this letter very carefully and I must apologize for barging this message into your mail box without any formal introduction due to the urgency of this issue. I know that this message will come to you as a surprise but please this is not a joke and I will not like you to joke with it.
I am Mr. Ben Ume, the Auditing and Accounting manager of a Bank Here in CÃ´te dâIvoire. I Hoped that you will not expose or betray my trust and confident that I am about to establish with you for the mutual benefit of our both family. In my department I discover an abandoned sum of (US$18.2Million) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his family in plane crash.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for the safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it. I agree that 50% of this money will be for you, and 50% would be for me. Then after the money is been transferred into your
account, I will visit your country for an investment under your kind control.
You have to contact my Bank directly as the real next of kin of this deceased account with next of kin application form which I will send to you immediately I hear from you. All you are required to do now is to confirm the bellow information to enable us commence immediately.
1. Your Full Name:---------------
2. Home Address: ---------------
3. Age & Sex: ---------------------
4. Occupation: --------------------
5. Cell Phone: ---------------------
6. State of Origin: ----------------
7. Country: --------------------------
8: Marital Status: -----------------
Waiting to hear from you soon.
Mr. Ben Ume