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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mark Foster" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2017 10:04:58 -0000
Subject: Awaiting your cooperation
I am Mr. Mark Foster a senior executive auditor of the Danske Bank,
I am writing you with respect to an account I discovered during the
second quarter auditing at the bank the account has been dormant for
8 yrs and 2 months now and the account is in your last name that is
the reason I have contacted.
Note: the sum in the account is 30. 5 Million United States Dollars
converted , the account is attached with an ATM card , which will be
issued to you if you can take possession of the account as a relative
of the account owner which is now deceased and this is because you carry
same family name. I would appreciate if you could take possession of
these funds by providing an account in your country where the funds
can be transferred to avoid being confiscated by the Danske Bank.
You would get a 50% compensation for your role after the successful
transfer of the fund to you.
I would make other vital details available to you upon your response
to my proposal. Please provide me with the information below for
confidential discussion on this:
Full name :
I will patiently await your reply in order to proceed with the transaction
and give you more details.
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.