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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Thompson Wolford" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2018 07:25:34 -0700
My name is Thompson Wolford , assistant legal director under legal department and also a guru in information and technology, I work with one of the leading banks in Africa as assistant legal director. I have a transaction worth $4.6 million USD, which I would need your help in assisting me in transferring the funds to your country for an investment. This transaction is 100% risk free, and I will let you know the details when you indicate your interest, I am willing to part with you 40% of the above said funds for your assistance, while 60% will be for me for a lucrative business investment which you will advise me in your country after the completion of the transaction.
Waiting for your positive reply
Bar. Thompson Wolford.
Assistant Legal Director