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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Mimiana Deketo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Ms.Mimiana Deketo" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2015 16:26:51 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM MRS. MIMIANA DEKETU
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you, I know this message will sounds very strange to you, but I have no choice than to risk my life to choose a stranger like you I have never seen you before or meeting with you. I received encouraging information about you and how trusts worthy you are. I am delighted with such useful information. I am Foreign Operations Manager of Banque Groupe of Africa Burkina (BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.
We live in a global world today, and with the help of internet technology one can easily communicate with one another all around the world without knowing him or she in person, what matters will be the trust and the Informationâs you got about the person. In this case we can understand our self and work like one family.
I want to transfer US$10Million to your bank account. The fund belongs to our deceased customer who died with his entire family In Crash, leaving nobody for the claim and as such, I decided to contact you to enable us claim these fund. Your share is 40% while 60% for me. This transaction is 100% risk free.
View the website for more information about the deceased.
Contact me for more details.