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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mohammed Aziz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 12:51:38 GMT
Subject: Dear friend
I know that this mail will be a big surprise to you, please consider it and accept it with deep sense of humility.
I have a business which will be beneficial to both of us. the amount of money involved is [$ 7.7m] which i want to transfer out of the country to your bank account, all to my financial benefit and yours too. and also to take my wife abroad for treatment of liver damage.
This money is owned by a man called Jin Sun, a business commercialist in west-African regions. he has been dead since four years ago and since then, no claim has been placed on his bank account balance.
I want to transfer this money out of the country but such fund cannot be transferred without a next of kin attached to the fund.
The fund could be transferred in these way; you shall present yourself as a business associate to the deceased person[Jin Sun] as details shall be that you are the care-taker business associate to Mr. Jin Sun and his properties.
I shall make available to you materials and information with which a successful claim shall be placed on the fund.
I shall also be your guidance and instructor throughout the duration of this transaction so as to ensure a swift and sure transfer of the fund to your bank account as to your benefits, you shall be entitled to 40% of this fund for your co-operation in this transaction while 5% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the course of this transaction.
So if you are interested, send a reply to me immediately.
Awaiting for your urgent response.