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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "million 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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "O Martins" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2009 07:32:02 -0000
Subject: Please read carefully and get back to me.
>From The Desk of Dr.O.Martins.
Bank of Africa,Burkina Faso.
I have a proposal for you,this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honour against your will. I am 50, and work with a bank (one of the African leading banks in the West Coast). Here in this bank existed a dormant account for the past 8 years which belong to an American nationale who is now late Mr.Raymond Beck , died in EgyptAir Flight 990 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm
When I discovered that there had been no deposits nor withdrawals from this account for this long period, I decided to carry out a system investigation and discovered that non of the family member nor relations of the late person is aware of this account. This is the story in a nutshell. Now I want an account overseas where the bank will transfer this funds.Thereafter, I had planned to destroy all related documents for this account. It is a careful network and for the past eleven months I have worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free operation. The amount is not so much at the moment and plus all the accumulated interest the balance in this account stands at,(US$ 9.5 million US dollars).
Now our questions are:-
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust?
3. What will be your commission? If you can sponsor this transfer.
Consider this and get back to us as soon as possible with the followings:
(First, father's, family name)
Name of the bank:
Attached a scanned copy of your ID.
The above requested information will be used in processing all papers in your favour as the original next of kin for the transfer of the fund into your nominated bank account designate.
Note that as an insider ,i will be feeding you with all necessary informations as to enable the bank to approve your claim,hence need for you to be keeping intouch.
Finally, it is our humble prayer that the information as contained herein be accorded the necessary attention, urgency as well as the secrecy it deserves. I Expect your urgent response if you can handle this project.