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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dormant 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: BONNI Morga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 16:22:05 GMT
Subject: I need your Assistance Co-operation!!
I Know This Message will come to you as a Surprise as we have never had any correspondence before. I am (BONNI Morga) the Senior Auditing and Accounting Section of BOA). I am sending this mail to you base on your information I got from the foreign affairs for financial business transaction that may benefits both of us the funds worth the sum of $19.7 Nineteen Million Seven Hundred Thousand United State Dollars.
I believe that you will be in a good position to assist me to transfer the abandoned floating funds value the sum of $19.7 million USD into your reliable bank account in your country. The Money Has Been in Dormant account for so many Years In this Bank without anybody coming to put claim of the Funds.Moreover, the Bank Executives Directors hold a meeting and concluded that after One Year without any of the Relatives applies for the claiming of the funds value the sum of $19.7 M USD it will be remits as a Bank Treasure.
Hence this mail to you, I need your maximum Co-operation and Trustworthiness. Upon Your Reply, I Will Give You Details on How the Business Will Be Executed, and I hope that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for mutual benefits of our families.
I am waiting for your response!!!
Have a great day,