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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Oyinkansade Adewale" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 10:27:03 -0600
Subject: From Lady/Mrs Oyinkanda Adawale
I sincerely apologize if my message does not suit your current status,my name is Lady/ Mrs.Oyinkansade Adewale,,I am happily married with four kids. I contacted you because I have interest for investing in your country into Real Estate business (ie: Hotel, Lands and Tourism) as well as seek your services in a private and
I am a Chartered Accountant and Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Union Bank of Africa . in the discharge of my duty i discovered a dormant domiciliary account with a Balance of $5,000,000.00 USD (Five Million United Dollars Only).
I write to seek your indulgence and assistance in transferring this fund to your country through legal means as repatriation of fund for
onward Investment. The depository was made by a foreign investor for an investment programme that has remained dormant for years now.I discovered that the account holder died without making a WILL on the depository
This money cannot be approved to a local bank account holder here , but can only be approved to a foreigner abroad ,since the money belongs to a foreigner it can only be claimed by a foreigner as according to our banking policy
I am proposing to make this transfer to a designated bank account of your choice in your country for investment.
I got your contact E-mail address through the internet in my search to find a trustworthy person on whom I can repose confidence for colossal international money transaction as i have lived all my life in Africa and do not have any contact abroad. At the conclusion of this transaction, I promise to give you 30% of the total amount, 70% will be for me and my colleagues who will help make this business a success.
I will like you to provide to me ,your full Names and country you reside ,so i can discuss this matter further with you and also enable my Attorney prepare the necessary documents and affidavit which will put you in place as the next of kin. The Attorney will draft and carry out the notarization of the WILL and also obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the claim.
Please Let me know if you can handle it.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, I expect that you will not take undue advantage of the trust I will bestow upon you. I await your urgent response.