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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Abdul Zakaria Azziz" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 12:35:41 GMT
Subject: Re: Business proposal from Mr. Abdul Zakaria Azziz
From: Abdul Zakaria Azziz.
Manager: Audit and Accounts.
Islamic Development Bank,
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
I am sending this E-mail with greeting to you. I am the above mentioned person with said office position. I'm contacting you in respect of a business deal which I intend to carry out with a deal-minded foreigner. There is an account here in our bank with a credit balance of eleven million united state dollars, US$13million. As I talk to you now, this said account is without a beneficiary or heir. This means that the money presently does not belong to anybody. I have explored all options and decided to execute this deal with a foreigner who can strike the deal with me by receiving this huge amount of money in his/her foreign bank account and take 40% of it.
This will put you in position of five million two hundred thousand US dollars, US$5.2million as your share from the deal which will not take us more than ten bank working days to finalize. I will provide any information that will be needed to back up the claim, and ensures that our bank releases the fund to you as the beneficiary to this said account. We shall follow the official way to get the bank to approve the fund to you as I have worked out everything before contacting you, so I will give you all the details regarding the deal as soon as I hear from you, and please make this proposal a top secret and delete it if you are not interested.
Thanks and regards.
Abdul Zakaria Azziz.