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:
- "i am using this medium to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "COL.SAMBO DASUKI" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2017 07:35:36 -0300
Subject: Safe keep and investment
COL. DASUKI SAMBO
FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
I make this appeal with the hope that I can trust you to assist me secure my funds in an offshore account in Europe. The content of this mail are expressed in confidence and solely for your personal consideration.
I am Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), former national security adviser. I am using this medium to request for your assistance in transferring ownership of the sum of $28.8m presently invested in an offshore bank in Europe. The fund is proceed from over inflated military contract awarded during my time as the national security adviser.
Your assistance is needed to transfer ownership of this fund to you for investment and securing the fund from being discovered and seized by the government. Thus far, the Nigerian government has not traced this account and it will remain so to the extent that this proposal remain confidential. I am offering you 20% of the total sum for your assistance, 80% will be mine. I assure you that this transaction is risk-free. More details will be availed to you upon your reply with required information.
As a former government official already facing trial, I can not afford more scandals. You are also advised to act swiftly on this matter. If my proposal is accepted, then fill out the below with your details.
Mobile phone number:
My lawyer will contact you upon your reply with requested details to prepare the necessary document that will give you access to the fund. I await your reply. Please send your reply to my confidential email address email@example.com
Col. Dasuki Sambo,
Nig. Army, Retired.
Disclaimer: This message transmitted with it are confidential and privileged. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by return e-mail and delete this message from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any dissemination, copy or disclosure of this e-mail is strictly prohibited.