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)
- "foreign exchange" (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: "maxwell TAPSOBA" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 21:16:46 +0100
Subject: Dear Good Friend.
Dear Good Friend.
For your kind attention, I am Mr. Maxwell John Tapsoba manager audit/credit department in a banking institution, I will be very glad if you do assist me to relocate the sum of (US$10,000.000.00 Million Dollars) to your personal bank account to be of an immense benefit to both of us. This account belong to one of our foreign customers (Late) Mr. Moises Saba Masri.
He was one of the board shareholders in telecommunication in Burkina Faso from Mexico; he died on a helicopter crash. You can get more information's on the site web address below.
All legal documents to back up the claims will be obtain legally here, I shall be directing you on the process I don't want this money diverted into our Bank recovery account as unclaimed fund; meanwhile the ministry of finance and economic has issued an order to release any unclaimed fund immediately whenever the next of kin is discovered with dully application.
On this regards, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin / will beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account can be transfer to you. This payment will be effected through Swift Transfer in conjunction with the foreign exchange department, Ministry of Finance Burkina Faso.
This is 50/45 business deal because of your account and support, I will get 50%, you will get 45% while 5% will be taken out to reimburse for any expenses before the fund get to your care. I will come over to your country as soon as the fund is transfer successfully into your account. Also this matter should be a confidential between you and me, please delete it if you are not interested.
Upon the receipt of your reply and indication of your capability, I will send to you a draft text of application form to apply for the claim and more details; I don't want any one here in the bank to know my involvement during the process.
Please state your information below to know your capability of handling this transaction;
1. FULL NAME..........
2. TELEPHONE NUMBERS.......
3. YOUR AGE......
4. YOUR SEX.........
5. YOUR OCCUPATION........
6. YOUR COUNTRY AND CITY......
7. YOUR HOME ADDRESS..........
8. MARITAL STATUS............
Mr. Maxwell John Tapsoba