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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Hassan Mahmood <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2020 11:48:27 +0100
Subject: PLS REPLY,IT IS URGENT.
My name is Hassan Mahmood a senior staff with UBA Bank, abidjan Cote
D'Ivoire. Let me let you into the details of this deal.
I found myself in this opportunity and with my position in the bank. I
stumbled on this abandoned account in my department the account belongs to
a foreign client who died during the war between the incumbent president
and the ex president, he left no forwarding address as the account was
opened on personal recognition.
So i want you to be ready to present yourself as the next of kin to this
client. You have nothing to worry about here, i have covered all loopholes.
I know what the bank will require..
I am giving out this blind trust to you because i believe nothing happens
on earth by chance, our destinies are in Gods hand.
Please consider to help me relocate this $17.5m(seventeen million,five
hundred thousand US dollars) for establishing an industry in your
country.This fund was deposited in our bank by our customer
who died in 2010 without a heir. A routine notification was sent to the
forwarding E-mail address but without responses.
The customer did not declare her next of kin in the bank official papers
including her real home contacts.
This money has been floating and if I do not remit it out urgently it will
be confiscated by the government as unclaimed fund.
You will be compensated for your collaboration to receive this fund in to
your country. I will give you all vital information and clarification when
I receive your reply.
Meanwhile kindly send the following info:
(1) Your name in full.
(2) Your full residential address.
(3) Your occupation.
(4) Your Country of origin.
(5) Your Mobile phone.
(6) Your age.