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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ms Angela Griffith <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2018 04:39:57 GMT
Subject: I NEED URGENT DISCUSSION WITH YOU.
Good day, This is Angela a USA Citizen, it is my pleasure to write you about my late father's death, since I cannot be able to see you face to face, at first. My father of blessed memory by name late Griffith Walsh who was shot death by Linked Terrorist Attacks on (16 June 2018) during his business trip of gold in Burkina Faso and are left with his fund. He opened an offshore account in Burkina Faso, which he's using for his business whenever he went for his gold business.
Please the most reason that I contacted you is because of this money. I need your help. He deposited the sum of ($8,500,000.00) in his offshore bank account there before his tragic accident.
He used my name as his next of kin and the inheritor to the money before his death, and he left a WILL with the bank that restrained me from accessing the money here unless I got married or found someone from overseas who will help me invest the money wisely. As a university undergraduate and really dont know what to do.
I located the bank, and have also discussed the possible transfer of the fund. I forced myself to contact the bank, but the bank response was that I should look for someone to help me secure the money as instructed by my late father. I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of my late father's tragic accident. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life.
I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Can you honestly help me as you would do to your own child?. While I continue with my education I will like to invest my money into lucrative business but I need you to put me through.
Please I am now seeking for your assistance to help me transfer this money out of the country to your account abroad so that we can invest it in any meaningful and lucrative business of your choice because this is my only hope in life. I am willing to offer you 20% of the total fund if only you can help me out of my present predicament.