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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "account in your country or any safer place" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Doris Buka <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 17:07:52 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Mrs. Doris Buka.
I know this mail may come to you as a surprise, since we have not known or written before. I am Mrs. Doris Buka from Sierra Leone. I lost my husband a couple of months ago. My husband was a serving director of the Agro- exporting board until his death.
He was assassinated last January by the rebels during the political uprising. Before his death he had a foreign account here in CÃ´te d'Ivoire where he made a deposit of US$12.5 Million Dollars which he deposited for the purchase of cocoa processing machine and development of another factory before his untimely death.
Being that this part of the world experiences political crises time without number, there is no guarantee of lives and property. I cannot invest this money here any long; despite it have been my late husbandâs industrial plans. I want you to do me a favour to receive these funds to a safe account in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary. I have plans to invest this money in continuation with the investment vision of my late husband, but not in this place again rather in your country.
I have the vision of going into real estate and industrial production. This is my reason for contacting you. Please if you are willing to assist me I will like you to send me your.
1. Your full name, contact postal addresses 2. Your phone and fax numbers. 3. Occupation.
Once I confirm this I will submit official to the bank as my late husband foreign business partner so that they bank will transfer this money into your account. Please indicate your interest in replying soonest.
Thanks and best regards.
Mrs. Doris Buka.