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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr.Agbor Nkongho." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 05:27:01 -0700
IâM Barrister Agbor Nkongho from Burkina Faso, I am sending this brief
letter to solicit your support. I have a Client who is an Indian, his
name is Mr. Dasya Kahaan. He was a gold dealer here in Burkina Faso
before he died six years ago when he went for kindly transplants in
his country India.
He deposited the sum of $5.5 Million dollars in one of the legendary
banks here in Burkina Faso. I have tried all I can to get in touch
with any of his friends or family members but no way.
So i want you to apply to the bank as his Business partner so that the
bank can release Mr.Dasya Kahaan fund into your bank account. I will
give you the guidelines on how to contact the bank and we have to do
this with trust because I don't want the bank to transfer the fund
into the Government treasury account as an unclaimed fund, so I need