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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: mr abu ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: mr abu ali <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:25:44 +0530 (IST)
Subject: I need your urgent help
Greetings to you and your family my good friend, I am the manager of bill and exchange in the AFRICA DEVELOPMENT BANK (A.D.B) in Burkina Faso, I have a business of $2.3 million dollars to be transfer to your account for investment in your country, if you are ready to assist me get back to me I will give you full details on how the money will be transfer to you.
You must assure me that everything will be handled confidentially because we are not going to suffer again in life. It has been 10 years now 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 the shores of Africa were gold and oil money that was supposed to have been used to develop the continent. Their 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 of facial trace of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers were being closed after transfer.
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 one cared to ask me because the money was too much for them to control.
They laundered over $69 Million Dollars during the process .As I am sending this message to you; I was able to divert ($2.3 million Dollars) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is anxious now to know who the beneficiary to the funds is because they have made a lot of profits with the funds.
It is more than Eight years now and most of the politicians are no longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas. The $2.3 Million Dollars has been lying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank without transferring the funds to a foreign account to enact bled me share the proceeds with the receiver. The money will be shared 60% for me and 40% for you .There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured everything, if you are ready to assist me get back to me.
Mr. Abu Ali