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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Maki <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 05:39:05 -0700
My name is:Maki, a banker in one of the banks in my country
Burkina Faso in African.I Hoped that you will not expose or betray
this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the
mutual benefit of our both families.I need your urgent assistance in
transferring the sum into your account.The money has been dormant for
years in our Bank here without anybody coming for it. I want to
release the money to you as the nearest person to our deceased
customer (the owner of the account) who died along with his supposed
next of kin few years ago. I don't want the money to go into our Bank
treasury account as unclaimed fund. So this is the reason why I
contacted you, so that we will release the money to you as the nearest
person to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this
proposal as a top secret or delete it from your mail box, if you are
not interested,i will be waiting for your reply immediately,
ì¹ì íë ì¹êµ¬,
ë´ ì´ë¦ì ë¤ìê³¼ ê°ìµëë¤: ë§ í¤ í ì, ëë ë¹ì ì ìí ì¬ì
ì ìì´, ì»ì
ë¹ì ì´ ë ë§ì ì¸ë¶ ì¬íì ê´ì¬ì´ ìë¤ë©´ ëì ê² ëìê°ëë¤.