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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Miri Jonada" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 09:41:26 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE REPLY ME IMMEDIATELY.
FROM MRS.MIRI JONADA,
BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER,
BANK OF AFRICA- (BOA)
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO.
I am MRS.MIRI JONADA; Manager of bill and exchange at the foreignremittance department of Bank of Africa (BOA) Ouagadougou , BurkinaFaso . I would like you to indicate your interest to receive thetransfer of US$26.2 Million. I will like you to stand as the next ofkin to my late client (MR. PAUL LOUIS) who died along with His entirefamily in 6th December 2003 in a plane crash.
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting hisnext of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot releaseit unless somebody applies for as next of kin or relation to thedeceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately welearnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongsidewith him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.
The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such moneyremained unclaimed after Eight to Nine years an above, the money willbe transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. I agree that 40 % of this money will be for you as foreign partner in respect to theprovision of a foreign account, and while 60 %would be for me.
There after I will visit your country for disbursement according to thepercentages indicated. Therefore to enable the immediate transfer ofthis fund to you as arranged, you must apply first to the bank asrelations or next of kin of the deceased indicating your bank name,your bank account number, your private telephone and fax number foreasy and effective communication and location where the money will beremitted. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax oremail the text of the application. I will not fail to bring to yournotice that this transaction is hitch free and that you should noentertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been madefor the transfer.
I will not fail to bring to your notice this transaction is hitch-freeand that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all requiredArrangements have been made for the transfer, please treat thisbusiness with utmost confidentiality and you should contact meimmediately as soon as you receive this letter.
Please make sure you keep this transaction as your top secret and makeit confidential till we receive the fund into the account that you willprovide to the Bank. Don't disclose it to any body, because the secrecyof this transaction is as well as the success of it.
I am waiting to hear from you urgently.