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)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "confidential business" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr John Gogo <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 23:14:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY.
PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY.
FROM THE DESK OF: DR JOHN GOGO
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING SECTION,
AFRICA DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB),
Dear Friend, How are you and your family? Guess it is well with you.I am Dr.John Gogo, I work as the Foreign Operations Manager of our bank here inBurkina Faso,West Africa. Although the world is a very small place and hard place to meet people with complete confidence, but as I have developed the trust on you, after a week fasting and praying i made up my mind to contact you for this confidential business transaction with hope that you will not disclose the secret of this great opportunity to another person.
There is an unclaimed sum Thirteen Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$13,200,000) in my bank, and when went through the records, I discovered that this fund belong to one of our foreign customer who died years ago, and no beneficiaries or claiamants were stated concerning to claim this funds. Therefore, your request as a foreigner is necessary to apply for the claim so that our bank will release the fund smoothly into your reliable bank account as the beneficiary/Foreign Business Partner to the deceased. This fund was meant for a short term investment in my country unfortunately the beneficiary died untimely. So, if you accept to assist me, I will place your name as the person who has the right to claim the fund which will enable our bank issue you fund investment document to avoid your government or any body to question the source of the fund during the process of the transfer. Hence you will be interested to assist me get
this fund transferred in your account, I will reward you with 40% of the total sum while 60% will be for me. If you are sure of your trust, integerity for safe-keeping this fund in your account, contact me with your full detailed information including your private telephone number(mobile) for me to guide you on the best legal way to tender an application to claim this fund successfully from our bank. Again My coming to your country once the money transferred , Me and you will exchange our photos, For you to know me in your country airport,I am waiting for your urgent response.
DR JOHN GOGO