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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Suzanne Camara" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 May 2017 06:21:39 -0700
It is my pleasure to contact you after going through your Profile , and repose my trust and confidence on your ability in transaction of this nature.
I am Mrs. Suzanne Camara , the regional Bank Manager of BOA Bank . I came to know about you in my Private Search for a reliable and reputable foreigner to handle this Confidential Transaction.
As the regional Bank Manager of BOA BANK; it is my duty to send a financial report to my head office at the end of each year. On the course of the 2009 year report, We discovered an excess profit of Fifteen Million Seven Hundred Thousand Us Dollars , [ $ 15,700,000.00 ] which my head office are not aware of , and will never be aware of. We have since placed this fund on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary.
As an officer of the bank I can not be directly connected to this Fund for Security Reasons, that is why I am contacting you for us to work together as partners to receive the said Fund in your account for INVESTMENT in your Country.
The percentage Ratio is thus: 40% for you , 60 % for me and my colleagues .
Note: There are practically no risks involved in this transaction as it is 100% risk free and shall be legally bonded, All I need from you is to stand as the BENEFICIARY to the Deposit . If you accept this offer to work with me, if you find this proposal suitable for you, kindly reply for full details and procedures .
I will appreciate it very much, If this proposal is acceptable by you, Please do not make undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed on you, and I assure you that we shall achieve our Goal successfully.
Mrs. Suzanne Camara