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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: sarahbright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: sarahbright <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 20:24:39 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hi Dear,
I hope my letter meets you in good health. Please do not be offended to receive this email from me, I am contacting you due to my present situations so that you will come to my aid. I am
Miss Sarah Bright from Ivory Coast, my father late Mr.John Bright was shot dead during the last political crisis in my country. Right now i'm an orphan and had no brother, or sister or mother. I need your help to transfer the sum of US$8,500,000.00M
(Eight million Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) which i inherited from my late father. My late father acquired the money genuinely through his Gold business in the country and deposited it in a
fixed deposit account in the bank with my name as next of kin before his death.
I met with the bank and they need me to appoint my guardian or caretaker who will
receive the money on my behalf due to my age, because my late father signed agreement bond with the bank that in case of his death the bank should not release the money to me until i reach 25 years old. But i have right to appoint reliable person of my choice to receive the money from the bank on my behalf.
Presently, my wicked uncle is threatening my life everyday over my late father's properties, and i decided to run away from the family house with all documents of the deposit to hide myself somewhere in my country where he cannot locate me. I want to travel out of my country as soon as possible to further my education and invest the money.
Dear, I want to choose you as my guardian or investment partner and present you to the bank for the release and transfer of the money into your account so that I will come over to your country to live and continue my education while you help me to invest the money in good business. I am willing to reward
you with 20% of the total money after successful transfer into your account for your help. I promise to keep my discussion with you confidential while you help me to handle the transaction with the bank. I wait for your reply urgent for way forward.
Miss. Sarah Bright.