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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Destiny Okalakwu <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 04:57:35 +0000 (GMT)
I am Dr Destiny Okalakwu, an accountant in a financial institution here in BURKINA FASO. I have decided to contact you for a fund transfer transaction worth the sum of US$11.5 million into your reliable bank account as the sole NEXT-OF-KIN to the foreign deceased customer of our bank (an International Billionaire German Businessman) who was killed with his entire family by PLANE-CRASH in the year 2000. Since his death occurred, nobody have shown up as his next of kin for the claim because the account is untraceable.
Upon the investigation I carried out from his records, I found out that his foreign business consultant who would have trace the account died earlier before the deceased. Therefore, this is a confidential and sealed deal.
For the success of this transaction, you should apply and act as the only existing NEXT-OF-KIN to the deceased which our bank will replace the deceased account information through proper documentation in position of your own account.
This transaction is risk-free, it will never harm your good reputation in your society because no one can trace the account, and on the instant of the transfer of the fund into your account, the chapter of this transaction will be closed entirely.
Note that in a business of this nature, the bank don't want to know your difference between the deceased country, religion or believe because our bank inheritance law is against that. So, it is a preference for us achieve this success without any problem.
Please note down that once the fund get transferred into your account, you will take (40%) of the total sum for the assistance and role you are going to play in this transaction, while the remaining will be for me and my other loyal colleagues here.
I need your urgent response and include your private telephone/mobile numbers for easy communication. Please reply if you can be trusted in this deal. Thanks,
Dr Destiny Okalakwu
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org