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 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 next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Abeeku Yoofi <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 09:47:31 +0100
Subject: For Your Kind Attention
I sent you an email few weeks ago about a contractor who acted as
intermediary for the purchase of Hotel Du 2 Fevrier by Former Prime
Minister of Libya Colonel Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi. On the
21st of April 2013, my client, his wife and their two children were
involved in a car accident along Kara-Sokode expressway while arriving from
a Holiday to Lome. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their
lives. Since then, I have made several inquiries to locate any of their
extended relatives and this has also proved unsuccessful.
I am contacting you to assist me in repatriating the fund valued at
US$10.500, 000.00, (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars) the mentioned amount is still in the bank, so I am writing this
email message to you due to the urgent need to put a claim on the fund,
kindly write me back so we may discuss further on the possibilities.
Kindly include your private email address and telephone number.
Thanks and God bless you.
Abeeku Yoofi Esq