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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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: "Dr. Jim Ananeh" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 14:14:49 -0700
Request Business Relationship
I write you this proposal believing that it will receive the most desired attention from you. Please Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making this offer which I know must come to you by surprise and it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I am constrained by insufficient information about you, but I will express in full the main objectives of this proposal.
This request for your assistance is of mutual benefit to both of us. Our company is specialized in contract syndication, projects consulting, monitoring/supervision and management services. We solicit your kindness in assisting us to champion the transfer of fund from our country to yours for investment and safe keeping. The total amount of fund is US$35million (Thirty-five Million United States Dollars only). Please note that the transfer operation will take seven to ten (10) working days to be completed.
You shall be entitled to 20% of this fund for your envisaged efforts and assistance rendered. The remaining 80% would be for our company and the top officials. This proposal is strictly confidential, free from any form of risk and does not depend on any particular field of trade to execute and the line of business of you/company is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this transaction.
It however requires your adequate participation and support to enable its
accomplishment on schedule. Be informed that on completion of this business our company will use part of its share of the money to invest in your country under your care. Kindly send your reply via email signifying your interest to enable me give you more information, so that we can commence the whole transaction immediately.
Once I receive your positive response, I will immediately send you the complete details with which you are to proceed and direct you how to put up an application for the immediate release of the funds to your account in your country.
Your quick and favorable response will be highly appreciated.
Mr. Jim Koffi Ananeh
Near Sonapack, Heavy Ind. Area
Tema, Greater Accra
Private Tel: +2332384906