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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million us 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)
- ",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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: Melinda Cruz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2017 17:05:42 +0000
Subject: From Mrs. Melinda Cruz Business Proposal
From Mrs. Melinda Cruz Business Proposal
Abidjan- Cote D'Ivoire
My Dearest Friend,
May I Humbly solicit your confidence in this Transaction, as Being utterly confidential and top secret. But I am Assuring you That you SHALL BE very happy at the end of the Day. I Decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction, as I wish to repose my trust and confidence on your discreteness and ability in transaction of this nature
I am Mrs. Melinda Cruz, The chief auditor in bank of Africa (BOA) Abidjan- Cote D'Ivoire, One of our customers, with his entire family was among the victims of plane crash and before his death, he has an account with us valued at[$ 15,000,000.00] million u.s dollars (Fifteen Million Us Dollars ) in our bank and according to the Cote D'Ivoire law, at the expiration of Thirteen years if nobody applies to claim the funds a grace of one year also will be given before the money will revert to the ownership of the Cote D'Ivoire government.
My proposals is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin or distant cousin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this old mans labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power.
As a foreign partner which this money will be transfer into your account, you are entitle to 40% of the total money while 60% will be for me as the moderator of this transaction. Please note that there will be no problem as my bank has made all effort through to reach for any of his relation but all was fruitless.
My position as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful execution of this (deal) transaction. Please send the following information to me:
1) your full name.....
2) personal Mobile number
5) Home & office address
Please reply me to this email email@example.com
Mrs. Melinda Cruz.