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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your 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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: BARR GLEN RICHARDS <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 05:46:07 -0800 (PST)
Subject: YOU HAVE 1 NEW MESSAGE
I will like you to understand that, this is no spam message. Your attention to this message will change your life. I NEED JUST YOUR CO-OPERATIONS. Iâm BARR GLEN RICHARDS, personal Lawyer and Director Allocation department of SKY BANK NIGERIA PLC, LAGOS/NIGERIA. My office monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions in England concerned with foreign claim payments. I am the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and international levels in line with foreign claim settlement.
I have before me list of funds which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been identified either as ghost accounts unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced sum etc. 0n this note I wish to have a deal with you as regards to an unpaid fund. I have a file before me and the data's are correct and un-tampered. As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the Federal Government Treasury and Reserve accounts as unclaimed deposits.
I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions I received two days ago from the Foreign Debts reconciliation department to submit the list of payment reports expenditures and audited reports of revenues ended the year 2010. Among several others I have decided to fill in your name as one of the beneficiaries to claim sum following my idea that we can have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
1. The sum of USD$45.7 Million Dollars only will be transfer into your account after the processing of all relevant legal documents with your name as the sole beneficiary. The transfer will be made by Draft or telegraphic Transfer T/T Conformable in 3working days.
2. This deal must be kept secret forever and all correspondence will be strictly by email / telephone for security purposes.
3. There should be no third parties as most problems associated with your fund release are caused by your agents or representative.
4. 50% comes to me as my share while 45% comes to you and 5% for any expenses
5. You will open an account in my sonâs Name and have my 50% transferred into the account when the whole 15.7 million is transferred into your designated account.
6. The bank must not know that Iâm directly involved in it and that is why you must open an account in my sons name with my share deposited into it
If you AGREE with my conditions l advise you to send the following:
A: Your Full name and address
B: Your direct telephone number
And the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the three days mandate. I hope you don't reject this offer and have this fund transferred. Waiting for your reply soon.
BARRISTER GLEN RICHARDS.