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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Sify; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mike Benson <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 00:54:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear Friend,
Send the copy of your email to ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
I am Mr.Abama George Director Auditing and Account Department of Africa (BOA)Ouagadougou,Burkina Faso.
I discovered the sum of seven millions two hundred thousand dollars(USD7.2)Belong to a deceased customer of this bank.The fund has been lying in a suspense account without anybody coming to put claim over the money since the account owner LATE,MR.ANDREAS SCHRANNER FROM EUROPE,Who was involved in the died on 31 july,2000 with all his family during their vacation journey.
The banking rule here on 20th january 2010 stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after one year,The money will be transferred into bank treasury as unclaimed fund.
So i decided that the fund will be release to you as the NEST OF KIN OR RELATION.I HAVE agreed that 40% of this money will be for as the Beneficiary respect of the provision of your account and service rendered 55% will be for me while 5% will be for expenses incured during the whole process of this transactin.
BBC NEWS LINK:
For your best interest and security of this transaction send the copy of your email to (email@example.com )for more information.
MR.ABAMA R. GEORGE