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.
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "Albert Gyan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 22:37:11 -0800
Subject: From Rev.Gyan Albert (Business Co-Operation/Partnership)
FSB Law Consult
Spintex road, Accra-Ghana
My name is Pastor Gyan Albert, the General overseer of Redeemed Mission Church of Christ (R.M.C.C) and also a practicing property attorney by profession. I got your contact from your local directory during my intensive search for a respectable and God fearing person to assist me claim a Deposit worth US$5.7 Million(Five Million Seven Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only)belonging to late Apostle Brandon my deceased Client.
My late client was a 73 years Old American Catholic priest posted to Ghana in the 1970's on a Missionary assignment; He lived his remaining life here in Ghana and owned an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) that receives Financial Aid (Grant) from the United Nations. I met the catholic priest during one of my evangelical campaign, knowing my profession and stand in God's field, he offered me a hand of lasting friendship and obliged me the task of being his personal and property attorney (lawyer) since 1996
Unfortunately he died of Asthmatic Attack in 2007 and no one ever came forward to claim his funds and properties. The landed properties have since been donated to charity as he mandated me to do so for the continuity of his contributions in God's vineyard. He also deposited in a Bank here the sum of US$5.7 Million which he intend to donate to Charity homes as he has been doing while alive.
The Directors of the Bank have issued me a notice as his Personal Attorney that my late clients proceeds is over due for claim and they require his next of kin to release the fund to. I have tried searching on the Internet to locate any of his relatives abroad on whose account this fund can be paid into without success, except you. Brethren I wish to present you as the beneficiary/next of kin to my deceased client, I want to assure you that this does not involve any risk, since I his Attorney is presenting you as his next of kin, all legal documents will be duly procured for safe fund claim. If I do not come up with a next of kin as demanded by the bank, the said fund would be confiscated and directed to the Federal Reserve account which will be used selfishly and ungodly.
Here is the sharing ratio; you will get 40% as your share, while I get 50% to establish an orphanage home as my client wished while the balance 10% would be set aside for any expenses that we may incur while processing this transaction.
If you can help me, please contact me immediately with the required information listed below:
Your full names:
Date of birth/age:
Mobile Phone/fax Number :( for quick and easy communication)
Please keep this information highly CONFIDENTIAL. Send your reply to: email@example.com
Thanks and God bless in anticipation of your quick response.
Pastor Gyan Albert
FSB Law Consult