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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Lansana Beavogui" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 20:37:34 -0000
Subject: From: Lansana Beavogui,
My name is Lansana Beavogui, a 22 years boy undergraduate. I am the only child of Late Solomon Beavogui, My father was a very wealthy Gold and Diamond Merchant in Freetown Capital city of republic of Sierra-Leon, my father relocated to Accra Ghana because of the rebel war, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates in Accra Ghana while my mother died when I am still a little and my father took me so special because I am the only child. Before the death of my father at hospital in Accra Ghana, he secretly called me and told me that he deposited huge sum of Four Million Nine Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($4.900, 000.00 USD) at a bank here.
He also made me to understand that it was because of this wealth he was poisoned while on a business trip with them and he instructed me before his death that I should not retrieve the fund myself without the assistance of a foreign partner who will help me retrieve these funds out from the bank in Accra Ghana.
On the 30th of December 2009 after my father burial, my uncles fly to United State of America with his children. And he told me that I do not have any right in my fathers property. My uncle seized all my father's companies and properties because of traditional believe that I'm a small boy; I dont know anything to do with money. I was left with nothing and dropped out of school because of financial difficulties and my uncle's wicked attitude. Although I have contacted the bank here they confirmed the lodgment to me.
My purpose of contacting you is for you to help me, as late father advised me at his sick bed.1) To transfer this amount into your location,2) To make arrangement for me to come to your country to continue my education.3) To utilize this money by investing it in good business. I am now under hidings to safe my life from any accidental harm that might befall me from them; Please tell me if you will be of assistance to me after your good considerations I am willing to reward you with 15% of the money for your good assistance. As for the money I hope you can have them under your control until I settled down. I will be glad if you will get back to me soon to tell me of your interest so that I will give you the contact information of the bank for you to contact them on my behalf as I will be introducing you. I am pleading you with the name of mighty Allah to help me out of this difficulty. With tears on my eyes here as I am writing you this mail, kindly get back to me please.
Waiting urgently for your responds