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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Abdul Kareem" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 11:48:34 -0800
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I am Abdul Kareem Working with Emirate NBD Bank Dubai,United Arab Emirate as Sales and marketing Officer,I am pleased to get across to you for a very urgent and profitable business proposal which I believe will profit the both of us after completion,I have been in search of someone with this last name as yours,when I saw your name I was pushed to contact you and see how best we can assist each other believing that you will not betray me, My late client citizen of your country who is the founder of (ALF Emirate Gold Refinery DMCC) made a fixed deposit with my bank in January 2009 for 36 calendar months, valued at (US$37,500,000)Thirty Seven Million,Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only,The due date for this deposit contract was the 2nd of April 2012,He met his untimely death in the Indonesian 2009 September earthquake on a business trip.
My bank management is yet to know about his death, I knew about it because he was my friend and I was his Account Officer and he did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was opened,he was a widowed and no children,I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you are a foreigner and my bank will release the funds to you,There is no risk involved, the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of law,I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds in this ratio, 50/50% ,Let me know your mind on this and please do treat this information highly confidential, We shall go over the details once I receive your urgent response.
Anticipating your response