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:
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: OUEDRAOGO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2011 10:09:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: FROM: MR. ISSAKA OUEDRAOGO
FROM: MR. ISSAKA OUEDRAOGO
AUDITS &ACCOUNTS DEPT
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (A.D.B)
This Message Might Meet You In Utmost Surprise. However, It's Just My Urgent Need For Foreign Partner That Made Me To Contact You For This Transaction. I Got Your Contact From Burkina Faso Chambers Of Commerce While I Was Searching For A Foreign Partner. I Assured Of Your Capability And Reliability To Champion This Business Opportunity When I Prayed To God Or Allah About You.
I Am A Banker By Profession From Burkina Faso In West Africa And Currently Holding The Post Of Manager Of Bill And Exchange At The Foreign Remittance Department, African Development Bank (A.D.B). I Have The Opportunity Of Transferring The Left Over Sum Of ($10.5 Million Dollars) That Belongs To Late Mr Rudi Hermanto From Indonesia Who Died Along With His Entire Family In The Tsunami Disaster In Indonesia And India 2004 And Since Then The Fund Has Been In A Suspense Account.
After My Further Investigation, I Discovered That Mr Rudi Hermanto Died With His Next Of Kin And According To The Laws And Constitution Guiding This Banking Institution Stated That After The Expiration Of (6) Six Years, If No Body Or Person Comes For The Claim As The Next Of Kin, The Fund Will Be Channel Into National Treasury As Unclaimed Fund. Because Of The Static Of This Transaction I Want You To Stand As The Next Of Kin So That Our Bank Will Accord You Their Recognition And Have The Fund Transfer To Your Account.
Hence, I Am Inviting You For A Business Deal Where This Money Can Be Shared Between Us In The Ratio Of 60% For Me And 40% For You. And Any Expenses Incidentally Occurred During The Transfer Will Be Incur By Both Of Us. The Transfer Is Risk Free On Both Sides Hence You Are Going To Follow My Instruction Till The Fund Transfer To Your Account.
Further Details Of The Transfer And Text Of Application Form Will Be Forwarded To You As Soon As I Receive Your Return Mail And You Should Contact Me Immediately As Soon As You Receive This Letter.
Your Full Name.......................... ..
Your Sex........................... .........
Your Age........................... ......
Your Country....................... ..........
Passport / Driving License.......
Your Occupation.................... .........
Your Personal Mobile Number....................
Your Personal Fax Number......................
Trusting To Hear From You Immediately.
Mr. Issaka Ouedraogo.