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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Musa Tolla <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 18:08:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: BUSINESS OFFER FROM MR MUSA TOLLA
FROM THE DESK OF MUSA TOLLA
I am Mr Musa Tolla working with african Development Bank( A.D.B) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.
I want to inquire from you if you can handle this
transaction for mutual benefits/life opportunity for you and me.The
transaction is about seeking your consent to present you as the next of
kin/ beneficiary To our late customer over his fund US$15.Million u.s.a dollars.
He died with his family during their vacation journey. I am waiting for
your response for more details. The fund is going to be share at the ratio
of 60/30.30% for you and 60% for i and my family which we are going to use
for investment.and 10% for outstanding expenses.
please fill in your personal informationâs as indicated below and as soon as i receive this information's below i will forward you a text of an application which you will fill and send to the bank for the claim of the fund as i will direct you on what to do.
Your name in full............
Your cell phone.............
Your marital status........
Mr Musa Tolla