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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Belo Mustafa <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 06:54:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE HELP ME OUT FOR THIS TRANSFER
Good day, My greetings to you and the family. Thanks you for reading my mail and I am contacting you concerning a customer and an abandoned huge amount of money placed under our banks management years ago, I contacted you independently of my investigation and no one is informed of this communication and I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you and me and the family in future. My name is Mr Bello Mustafa , I am in the Auditing and Accounting Manager with Bank of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.In my department i discovered an abandoned sum of (US$10M DOLLARS) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (MR. RICHARD BURSON from Florida, U.S.A) who died along with his entire family on November 1999 in a plane crash. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($10M USD) to your account within 14 banking days. This money has been dormant for
years in our Bank without claim, foreigner has the brave to speak and to apply for the claim as the inheritance beneficiary of this transfer. I don't want the money to go into the Reserve Bank of Burkina Faso (RBBF), as an abandoned fund. So this is the reason why I contacted you so that the bank can release the money to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this transfer as a top secret between me and you alone ok. I promise you that i will direct you on how this transfer will go successfully if only you can abide to my instruction. Upon receipt of your reply, I will give you full details on how the business will be executed. Kindly send me this information below to have trust in you that you would betrayed me. (1.)Your full name... (2)Your address... (3)Country.. (4)Age... (5)Occupation....... (6)Private telephone number
l will send you my details of this transaction as soon as i hear from you thanks, trusting to hear from you immediately with your contact information,
Note this please: Reply me with this email adress please for security purpose(firstname.lastname@example.org)
My regards. Mr Bello Mustafa