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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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: Deborah Kabila <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2018 06:44:01 -0800
Subject: Dear please it's very urgent
RE save our soul
I am Mrs. Deborah Kabila, one of the wives of Late President Laurent D.
Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Consequent upon the
assassination of my husband, I am in possession of USD 58,000,000 (fifty
eight Million US Dollars Only) being funds earlier earmarked for special
projects. This fund has since
been deposited in a security company in West African Country of Togo
I am residing now with my children. It is now my intention to move the
fund out of this place (Togo) to a safer place for the benefit of my
children and I, for immediate investment. Based on this that I solicited
for your assistance to enable me take this money out of Togo. However,
that my children and I have agreed to give you 20% of the total fund if
accept the offer of assisting us. Also it will be your responsibility in
directing us on a viable business. It is also my intention to relocate
probably take a temporarily resident in your country pending when all
troubles in my country will be resolved. We advised that you look for a
house we will buy as soon as we arrived. To conclude this transaction,
will be required to come to Togo to open an account in any bank here in
Togo where the security company will deposit the total sum in your
From this bank the money will be remitted into your original bank in
country. Immediately this done, all of us will depart Togo to your
where my children and I are expected to take a temporary resident.
note that I can not open any Bank account with my name because, My late
husband's first son-JOSEPH-who took over power in our country, don't
to see me and my children, He claimed that when our husband was alive,
very close to him than any other of his wives including his (Joseph)
mother. He also claimed that because of my closeness to him that I was
to get things from him more than others. As a result he has been
me. Infact this one of the main reasons I want to take my children out
our country and any nearby country.
Thanking you in advance. Yours faithfully,
Deborah Kabila (Mrs.)
N/B: Kindly give me your direct telephone,fax and your mobile telephone
numbers for more explanations.