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:
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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: "ICB" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 22:22:17 +0100
Subject: Re: ENQUIRY REPLY ASAP
FROM: Mr. Abel Sadick
International Commercial Bank.
Kaneshie Branch, Accra-Ghana.
My name is Mr. Abel Sadick; I am the regional manager of the international commercial bank of Ghana. I got your information through the Internet and hope and wish that we can work together.
I have successfully and carefully packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us. As the regional manager of the international commercial bank (ICBGH). It is my duty and responsibility to send in, a financial report to the head office of my bank here in Accra (Ghana) at the end of each fiscal year.
In the course of report and submission of the end of the year (2008) financial activities of my branch to the head office. I discovered that my branch in which I am the head and the manager made an outstanding profit of US$7, 700,000.00 (Seven Million seven hundred thousand dollars only) which is unaccounted and undeclared and of which the head office is not and will never be aware of. I have since and accordingly placed the funds (US$7, 700,000.00) in a suspense account without any beneficiary.
As the manager and an employee of the bank, I can not be directly involved and connected with the money, so this has informed my contacting you for us to work together so that you can assist in receiving this money into your bank account for us to share.
For your involvement and participation in the scheme, you shall receive 30% of the total money after conclusion. The transaction (scheme) is risk free and the money will be transferred to your designated account through bank-to-bank transfer via telegraphic wire transfer. All that you will require to do is to stand and make claim as the original and bonafide depositor of the funds with the bank (my branch) so that my head office will give approval for the transfer of the funds to your designated account.
Note that as the manager of my branch of the bank that all the requisite and necessary arrangements have been masterfully and expertly put in place to facilitate your successful claim of the money and the eventual transfer of the money.
Upon your reply of this mail and your indication of interest in the transaction, I shall oblige you further details.
Awaiting your prompt response through this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Abel Sadick