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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- and fax numbers please reply in my private email address (email@example.com) or ( firstname.lastname@example.org) for security and confidential (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Uga Haji <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 16:33:01 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT/REPLY IMMEDIATELY
From the Desk of Dr. haji uga
Manager Bill and Exchange Dept
African Development Bank (ADB)
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise. I am the bill and Exchange manager in African Development Bank .I Hope that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that i am about to Repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of $18.5 million Immediately to your account. The money has been dormant for years in our Bank here without any body coming for it.
I want to release the money to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer the owner Of the account who died a long with his supposed next of kin in an air Crash since July 2000.
I don't want the money to go into our Bank treasury 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 nearest person to the deceased customer.
Please i will like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete if you are not interested.
Upon receipt of your reply, I will send you full details on how the Business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the Above mentioned sum. Acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of my mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following:
1. Your Full Names and Address.
2. Direct Telephone and Fax numbers
Please reply in my private email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ( email@example.com) for security and confidential reasons.
Dr. haji uga
African Development Bank,
Burkina Faso West Africa.