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 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "abuja" (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: "Albert Ugoobi" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 21:43:01 -0700
Foreign Debts & Contracts Matters
Office of the Presidency
Asokoro, Abuja Ė Nigeria.
Donít be surprise about this development; it is my sincere wish to treat every man as I would expect to be treated. With the last investigation carried out on foreign debts and contract payments. The payment due for you would take long to be rectified and processed due to irregularities detected in your payment file. I found out that you have spent money in trying to realize your payment, which did not even reflect in your file but I have an offer that can at least help your financial stand until you receive your payment. This offer is an amount from the government leftovers totaling the sum of US$1,700,000.00 (One Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which will be shared between you and me in the ratio of 50% - 50%
What is needed for this fund to be transferred is a New Bank Account Details, Notarization of the Bank Account Details and Copy of your International Passport or Drivers License. You must have known lots of officials in the government, pls. do not discuss this transaction with anyone until the fund is transferred into your designated bank account. Be assured that there is no bureaucracy or misfortune on this transaction and if you are willing to make this deal happen send me a reply and I will give you all the details.