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" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2018 14:04:10 GMT
Subject: URGENT MATTER.
I want you to patiently read this sad news of my daddy. I am Angela a USA Citizen, it is so sad to write you about my late daddy's mysteriously death during his business trip, at first. My daddy of blessed memory by name late Griffith Walsh. Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by cardiac arrest, unexpected loss of heart function after Linked Terrorist Attacks in Burkina Faso on (16 June 2018) during his business trip of gold in Burkina Faso and are left with ($8,500,000.00) on his offshore account there.
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 cannot claim it directly because he made the deposit as a fund belonging to his business in order not to raise eyebrow and the code of conduct bureau forbids me to acquire such amount of money without been married or found someone from overseas who will help me invest the money wisely.
It is on this basis that I am contacting you for assisting me to receive the money, 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. Whether you can honestly help me as you would do to your own child?. While I continue with my education I will like to invest this money into lucrative business but I need you to put me through.
Please I am now seeking for your assistance to help me receive this money in your account abroad so that you 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 30% of the total fund if only you can help me out of my present predicament.