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:
- "demurrages " (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "HON.CHID AKU" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:13:02 +0200
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU WITH A BIGGER SECRET??
Very good day to you.
Hope your entire family? I do hope they are doing just okay.
Herein is the proper explanation.
I am writing to let you know how much I appreciate your profile. Previously, you have been very attentive and helpful. You and I put together will indeed make a great team. I know that adding this task to your regular duties will take quite a bit of extra time and effort on your part.Please know that you can count on me to do the same for you.
I am sending you to Malaysia to take care of my fund of $170-million i starched there many years ago.
On getting there and clearing the fund out of the company vault for investment in your country.
(1) Once you clear the boxes from the vaults, you are free to make partial withdrawal of $100,000 from it, which you can take along on a trip back home, to cover for your expenses to and fro, WHILE the rest is wired into your personal account in your country for our investment.
(2) I will compensate you with 30% of the $170 million while the rest is invested in your country, which you will manage on my behalf too. The demurrages i pay monthly for this fund deposit is too much and i found it better to remove it there ASAP for investment in your country.
This is a case of "seeing is believing". See, touch and spend a little there to believe i am for real.
LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU WILL BE READY FOR THIS TRIP TO ENABLE ME GIVE YOU MORE DETAILS. I AM STILL AN ACTIVE POLITICIAN IN MY COUNTRY AND I WONT LIKE MUCH EXPOSURE IN THIS BUSINESS FOR SECURITY REASONS.
Mr. Chid Aku
Hon-Member. House of Representative