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)
- "inland revenue" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Michael GoodLuck <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 20:22:09 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Hello Dear friend,
DR. MICHAEL GOODLUCK.
Hello Dear friend,
My name is DR. MICHAEL GOODLUCK I work with A Bank in Cote D' ivoire as the Regional manager,plateau Branch, in the Western Region of Cote d' ivoire. I am 54 years old with three kids. I have packaged a transaction that will be of mutual benefit to us. As the branch manager of the Bank in Cote D' ivoire, it is my duty to send a financial report to my head office in the capital city, plateau, at the end of each financial year.
Following the release of the second quarter financial report, ending June 2009, I discovered that my branch made Six Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars ($6,850,000.00); from the transactions accruing to the account of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS). This was not detected by the renowned auditors from my head office.
I have moved the funds into what the Bank call Escrow Call Account with no beneficiary. Meanwhile as you know I can not be directly connected to this money for obvious reasons. So my contacting you is to assist me receive the funds in your Bank account in your country; which I know is possible if you liaise properly with me and get 30% of the total funds as your benefit.
The transfer would be made via swift and it will be a Bank-to-Bank wired transfer.All I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund. I will compute your particulars as the person who made the deposit in my branch, so that my head office will immediately order the transfer to your designated Bank Account. if interested then get back to me so that i will tell you on how we are to proceed further on receipt of your response.
You can also get back to me and send me the following information for documentation purpose in your name as the beneficiary of the fund in question:
(2)private phone number:
(3)current residential address:
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.
DR. MICHAEL GOODLUCK.