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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Astrid <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 16:37:36 +0900 (KST)
Subject: A message
I am Mr.Handy Astrid I work as a Manager with one of the international bank here in Burkina Faso. Although the world is very small place and hard place to meet people because you don't know who to trust or believe, but as I have developed my trust in you after my praying, i made up my mind to confide this confidential business suggestion with you.
Be rest assure that everything will be handled confidentially because, this is a great opportunity which we cannot afford to miss as it will make our family profit allot.
It has been 7 years ago, that most of the greedy African Politicians used our bank to launder money overseas through the help of their Political advisers,most of the funds which they transferred out of Africa was gold and oil money that was supposed to used to develop the continent.
The Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity to divert part of the funds hence I am aware that there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers were being closed after the transacfer.
I acted as the Account Officer to most of the politicians and when i discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act, I also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no body cares to ask me because the money was too much for them to control.
As am sending this message to you, I was able to divert Ten Million five Hundred thousand United State Dollars ($10.5M) to an escrow account that belonging to unknown person in bank.
Now the bank is very anxious to know who is the real beneficiary of the funds because they have made a llot of profits with the funds. It has been more than six years now and most of the politicians are no longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas, majority of them don't have the power again, because their tenure has expired. The $10.5 Million Dollars has been lying in the bank as unclaimed fund.
I will soon retire from the bank and without wasting time i will like the fund to be transferred into your account, so that i will come over there in your country to capitalise the fund, The money will be shared at the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you .There's no one that is going to ask you any question about the funds because everything is well secured with good arrangement.
If you are interested in this transaction, do not hesitate to reply me back, but if you are not interested delete my message from your box.
Hoping to hear from you soon.