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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Amira Mustapha" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:39:50 -0500
Subject: As-salaam Aliekum....
Peace be upon you,
Please kindly pardon me for any inconvenience this letter may cost you because I know it may come to you as a surprise as we have no previous correspondence. I got your contact as I was searching for an assistant in your country, and this is why I decided to appeal to you as a matter of urgency about ($10.600,000.00) Ten Million Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollar. It is an unequivocal fact that weâve not met nor communicated before but due to the true revelation that I should share this with you.
My name is Mrs.Amira Mustapha. Accountant of integrated finance of Islamic Development Bank IDB here in West Africa, Thus for your indulgence and assistance (morally and financially), i propose a 45% share of the total amount to you after receiving the funds successfully, and i need your assurance of trust that you will not deny me my share once the fund is credited to your personal bank account, so kindly state your interest by replying immediately and i shall furnish you with details and procedures preceding the transaction, and here is our bank IDB web link (http://www.isdb.org) you can go through it for more informationâs you may like to know. Hoping to receive your reply to my private E-mail (email@example.com).
ALLAH BLESS YOU