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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Salim Zaid" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 12:05:02 -0700
Subject: from Salim Zaid
I am Mr. Salim Zaid, Syria / English citizen and Principal assurance manager in one of reputable banks in Europe. Mr. Mohammed Raji a staff of Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company got in touch with me on an investment which was placed under our banks management some years ago.
I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail. I contact you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.
In 2010, the subject matter; Mr. Mohammed Raji came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of $75, 000, 000, 00 (Seventy-Five Million United States dollars), which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf. I was the officer assigned to his case;
I made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our bank.We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being placed. He later asks the business to be close that he wants to move the funds to another country for investment.
The funds was moved to a private finance company who were specialist bank that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products or undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash.