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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Colonel Sambo Dasuki." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:40:51 -0700
Subject: Re: Hello Dear!.
Colonel Sambo Dasuki. in the name of the Lord!
Though this letter will come to you as a surprise from someone you do not know before, it was based on recommendation from a friend who advised me to invest in your country that I decided to contact you to introduce myself. I was the National Security Adviser to Dr. Good-luck Ebele Jonathan. I worked in his Government for the six years. It was a great opportunity for me to achieve what I got today which I believe God is asking me to write to you for utmost assistance. I also believe that the same God will bind my words with you on trust. Amen.
To be explicit, I have secured the sum of US$18.5million dollars and sent it out of the country during the time of my service. The said amount was kept in the presidential security logistics company in Indonesia because the present Government in power had earlier declared war with all those that served in the past administration of Dr. Good-luck Ebele Jonathan.
At this point, the present government is looking for a way of confiscating all my assets here in the country in which people in better and strategic positions made away with substantial amount of money which I was also lucky to secured outside the country. For this reason, I declared to contact you with confidence that, you will not allow anybody to know or hear about this because it is highly confidential.
Since the change of government, I had been stopped not to travel outside the country, my international passport had been seized and my movement has been restricted and monitored. This is the most important reason that I needed your assistance to quickly claim this money on my behalf at where I deposited it outside the shores of the country since my intention is to put this money for an investment in your country on non-speculative business where my name will not be mentioned like the Real Estate.
I have a percentage for you in this transaction when you give me your words indicating your interest. I will also disclose more information to you such as the particulars of where the said money is kept and the certificate of deposit which shall be sent to you as well as other relevant document.
The security company would be informed that I have a partner who will call to confirm the safety of the deposit in your name once I received your reply.
I wait to hear from you soon.
Colonel Sambo Dasuki.