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 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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Pete Koffi <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 15:21:55 -0800
Subject: Hello Friend,reply for our mutual benefits
Please don't be surprise over this communication. I am Pete Koffi, the
director of head operations department. It is out of emergency as I
need your urgent assistance on transferring the total sum of
$5.000.000.00( Five Million United States Dollars) in your account
under legal arrangement. This is an overdue contract payment which was
not paid out at the right time for a very long time ago as a result of
the sudden death of the beneficiary and his suppose next of kin. This
is a risk free transaction and i meant no harm to you at all.
So therefore if you are interested and capable to receive the above
mentioned fund into your account for us to share, kindly furnish me
with your personal information as thus:-
1. Your full names........
2. Your current residential address........
3. Your private phone number.........
4. Your current occupation..........
5. Your age and marital status.......
I am expecting your urgent response along with the requirements.
Mr. Pete Koffi