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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Mary Alfred" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 06:23:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Divine proposal
>From The Desk Of Mrs. Mary Alfred
Branch Manager Eco-Bank
Silver Star Tower Branch,
My name is Mrs.Mary Alfred; I am the branch manager of the Eco Bank Silver Star Tower Branch Ghana I got your information during my search through the Internet. I am 45years of age and married with 3lovely kids. It may interest you to hear that I am a Woman of peace and I don't want problem, but I do not know how you will feel about this because you may have double mind. But I am telling you that this is real and you are not going to regret after doing this transaction with me. I only hope that we can assist each other. But if you don't want this business offer kindly forget it and I will not contact you again.
I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us, as the regional manager of the Eco Bank;it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city (Accra-Ghana) at the end of each year. On the course of the 2009 end of the year report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made Ten million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollar [10, 750.000.00] which my head office is not aware of it and will never be aware of.
I have since place this fund on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary. As an official of the bank I can not be directly connected to this fund, so this informed me of contacting you for us to work,so that you can assist and receive this fund into your bank account for us to SHARE.Mean While you will have 35% of the total fund, Note there are practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer,all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund who made the deposit with our branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account. If you accept this offer to work with me, I will appreciate it very much as soon as I receive your response I will give you details on how we can achieve it successfully.
Mrs. Mary Alfred