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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "a security company " (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: "Linda Kamokai" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2019 11:12:07 -0800
Subject: I am Linda
Sorry to inconvenience you.I am Miss Linda Kamokai. I am the
daughter of Dr Magnus Kamokai.We are from Republic of Sudan in a town called Darfur.I was an under graduate of the University of Khartoum as a Medical Student,before my father was assasinated with my mother on their way back home to Dafur.
My late father was one of the top Government officer and a Raw Gold dealer from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) My father deposited $10.5 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars cash) and Raw Gold with a Security Company in Togo using my name as the only child as the next of kin.Currently I am in Togo on asylum through the help of a reverend father Rev Godwill.The reverend father took me along with him to see the Director of the company for the release of this money,
The Director agreed to release the money. So I need your to help me to invest this money in your country let me come over there and finish my studies.This is my reason of contacting you.You can invest this money in your company or open a new company with it.
You will have 40% of the total fund after it is released to you. 10% will be for the settlement of any expenses that might come up on the course of the process of the release of the money.
Right now I am in a refugee camp built by the church here in Lome.
I wait to hear from you.