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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Haseeb Ansari" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2018 18:29:29 -0500
Subject: GOOD DEAL
I am Mr. Haseeb Ansari, Head of Regulatory Compliance at Barclays Bank Dubai.I write you this proposal in good faith and I hoped in your honor, trust and confident that I am about to establish with you for the mutual benefits between me and you.I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum (26,700,000) dollars into your account This money has been dormant for years in our bank without any claim due to the owner of this fund died in an air crash and the bank management directors is planning to move the funds into the bank treasure account as an abandoned funds in the bank and share it among themselves.
I want you to work with me for our bank to release these funds to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer while i come over to your country to share this funds. As soon as you confirm this fund into your account and ask me to come over. I want to invest my share of the fund in any lucrative business there in your country if i come over.
As a Manager this bank I can not be directly connected to this fund and I don't want the money to go into our bank treasure account as an abandoned fund in the bank. I was the account manager of the deceased customer before his death and I have with me all the bank required document of the fund account in our bank. So this is the reason why I have contacted you, for you to work with me and assist me receive this funds in your bank account as the real beneficiary of the funds in our bank according to my direction. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret between me and you.
Upon the receipt of your reply, I will give you full details on how the business will be executed. Also take note that you will have 50% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to handle this business, 50% for me. my email