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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Adila Alima Naifeh" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 May 2017 12:15:48 -0700
Subject: Please I seek your urgent assistance......
Attn: Sir / Madam,
I'm Mrs.Adila Alima Naifeh a Syrian citizen, there is ongoing war in my country Syria. My life and that of my two daughters are in danger. My husband who happened to be a business man was murdered 3 months ago, We lost everything but my husband had some money that he kept in our home a total amount of $18.750.000.00 million, that belongs to my late husband and due to what happened to him we are no longer safe in Syria so I decided to contact you, Please I seek your urgent assistance to help me receive the fund in your country and also help me keep it safe for us. The sum of $18.750.000.00 eighteen million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars is involved and it was well packaged in a consignment registered as United Nation refugee gift.
We lost our International passport and we are searching earnestly to travel out but the rebel/opposition military has rendered us stranded and our houses and properties have been damaged by a bomb blast that happened. Please i expect your urgent response to this email to enable me give you the delivery details, it is registered as a diplomatic package. Thank you.
Mrs. Adila Alima Naifeh