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)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Aminata Ouedraogo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 09:39:50 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: FROM MRS AMINATA OUEDRAOGO.
FROM MRS AMINATA OUEDRAOGO.
I AM THE MANAGER IN THE BILL AND EXCHANGE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIETY GENERAL OF BANKS IN BURKINA (SGBB) HERE IN OUAGADOUGOU THE CAPITAL CITY OF BURKINA FASO. IN MY DEPARTMENT WE DISCOVERED AN ABANDONED SUM OF US$10.5M(TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) IN ACCOUNT THAT BELONG TO THE BANK DECEASED CUSTOMER WHO DIED WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY ALONG WITH HIS SUPPOSE NEXT OF KIN IN A PLANE CRASHED SO THEREFORE,I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE TO ENABLE THE MONEY TRANSFER INTO YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, YOU SHOULD GET BACK TO ME.
MRS AMINATA OUEDRAOGO. (SGBB).