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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Mr.Jamal Habib Kito" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:23:11 -0800
Subject: PLEASE ATTEND AS URGENT.
My name is Mr. Jamal Habib Kito senior Manager of (CO-OPERATIVE BANK OF KENYA) The Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited. I am 55 years old man, married with four children.
I have a very urgent, confidential and profitable business for both of us Valued at $25.5 Million (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United state Dollars). This fund is an excess of what my branch in which I am the senior manager made as profit last year. I have already submitted an approved End of the Year 2016 report to my Head Office and they will never know of this Excess. I have since then, placed this amount of $25.5 Million (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United state Dollars) on a SUSPENSE SECURITY without a beneficiary.
As a senior Manager of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money as the beneficiary of the funds. If we could do this together, we shall share this funds 50/50 between us accordingly and this transaction is 100% risk free, as no-risk involved in this and this is going to be a direct transaction. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund.
If interested, please write back for more information, while I shall explain more in details as soon as I got a response from you if you are interested.
Thanks for your kind understanding, awaiting your response! firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr.Jamal Habib Kito.