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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "From Mr.Aziz Issa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:19:55 +0000
Subject: Greetings From Mr.Aziz Issa
From Mr.Aziz Issa
Bill And Exchange Manager
Freeaing International Dept
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
MY DIRECT LINE : +226 72 21 62 99
Greeting to you,
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose, Itâs my
pleasure to write you today, I am Mr.Aziz Issa,I work in a Banque
International Du Burkina Faso (B.I.B) Bank. I hope that you will not
expose or betray this trust and confident that am about to repose in
you for the benefit of our both families.
Am in need of your help as a foreigner to transfer (($25.5m US
dollars)(Twenty Five Million five hundred thousand US Dollars)) into
your account,The fund is for late .Robert William, a Germany
nationality. whom died on December 2014 in plane crash with Airbus
A320 Plane. living nobody as the next of kin to the fund. Risk is
completely 100% free for this transaction.
Please I will like you to keep this proposal as a top secret or delete
it from your mail box, if you are not interested.
I agree that 50% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner,
in respect to the provision of a foreign account,and 50% will be for
Also know that immediately this fund is transfered to your account, I
will resign from my work and come over to your country for the
sharing of the money and for you to help me and direct me on what is
profitable that i can invest my own share of the money on it in your
Please you should call me immediately (+226 72 21 62 99) as soon as
you receive this letter for more explanation. .
MY DIRECT LINE : +226 72 21 62 99