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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million us 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 us 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)
- "with absolute secrecy" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MR PAUL MADI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 07:05:48 +0200
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
My Dearest Friend,
I hope all is well with you and your family,
I am glad to know you, but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you at this point in time so do not be afraid, this is an urgent business from MR. PAUL MADI, I apologize if the contents in this mail are contrary to your moral ethics, which I feel may be of great disturbance to your personal life, but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal. I pray that this email reaches you in the best of health.
I am MR. PAUL MADI, The chief auditor in bank of Africa (boa) Burkina Faso West African, One of our customers, with his entire family was among the victims of plane crash and for more about the crash you can visit the BBC web news for the tragedy.http://newswww.bbc.net.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/oxfordshire/4537663.stm, before his death, he has an account with us valued at $27.2million us dollars (twenty seven million two hundred thousand us dollars) in our bank and according to the Burkina Faso law, at the expiration of five years if no body applies to claim the funds a grace of thirty (30) days will be given before the money will revert to the ownership of the Burkina Faso government. My proposal is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin or distant cousin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this old man's labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power.
As a foreign partner which this money will be transfer into your account, you Are entitle to 40% of the total money why 55% will be for me as the moderator of this transaction and 5% is been mapped out for any expenditure that may be incur during the course of this transaction. Please note that there will be no problem as my bank has made all effort through to reach for any of his relation but all was fruitless. My position as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful execution of this (deal) transaction. This money will be shared on agreed percentage which must be written in the agreement of personal trusteeship, once the fund is transferred to your account in your country or anywhere else. If not interested please destroy the mail because of the confidentiality attached to it.
I promise that this transaction will be done under a legitimate arrangement that will protect both of us from any breach of the law. if you are interested and wish to assist me please feel free to contact immediately and send the following:
1)your full name...
5)passport or photo...
7)personal Mobile number...
8)personal fax number...
9)Home & office Address....
Please reply through this e-mail address: email@example.com
MR. PAUL MADI.