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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: DANIEL KONATE <email@example.com>
Reply-To: DANIEL KONATE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 08:47:01 +0900 (JST)
MY NAME IS DANIEL KONATE, I AM WORKING WITH ONE OF THE REPUTABLE BANK IN ABIDJAN COTE DâIVOIRE WEST AFRICA .I KNOW IT'S A SURPRISE THING READING FROM SOMEONE YOU DON'T KNOW BEFORE, BUT PLEASE FORGIVE ME WITH THIS UNUSUAL MANNER TO CONTACT YOU.
AS AN ACCOUNTANT IN OUR BANK, I DISCOVERED A DORMANT ACCOUNT SUM OF (USD10.5MILLION). THE REASON I WANT TO USE MY POSITION TO PRESENT YOU AS THE LEGITIMATE NEXT OF KIN AND BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUNDS WHICH WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO LATE DECEASED BECAUSE I CANNOT DO IT ON MY OWN DUE TO MY POSITIVE IN THE BANK.
WE SHALL TALK MORE ON SHARING PERCENTAGE, FOR MORE DETAILS EMAIL ME IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE AND I PROMISE TO USE MY POSITION TO MOVE THIS FUNDS TO YOU WITHOUT VIOLATING ANY LAWS.