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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Mrs Jack Bankole" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 06:54:08 +0200
Subject: last opportunity?
I write to inform you that I can enforce the release of this your unsettled Contract/Lottery/Inheritance claims but I know you will find it extremely
difficult to believe me due to what you have already gone through in terms of disappointments, unfulfilled promises and wasted years on this transaction. I
want to tell you that in this era of information technology, it is very simple to retrieve your funds and have it credited into your account just by using a,simple computer that is connected to the Internet.
All your struggles of the past were not really necessary but you had to go through them out of ignorance of what is really in vogue. If you can have faith in
me, I will contact you again with my full plans on how to retrieve these funds from the Nigerian treasury. I do not want to talk much here like the yahoo
criminal. I am a guru in Information Technology (IT) and I prefer going straight to the point and get immediate result.
Would you be interested in retrieving your contract inheritance funds without going through the rigors of endless government bureaucratic and make-believe
bottlenecks?.I have designed an Open Financial Exchange (OFX),which is a Personal Financial Management (PF M) scale able platform capable of instrumentality
siphoning your funds out of the database of the Central Bank of Nigeria without any traces and risks whatsoever.
This is purely e-commerce and the OFX server would simply be acting as a Bridge between the CB N. telex room and your receiving banking co-ordinate.. It would
amaze you how easy your funds shall be retrieved, so get back to me if you want me to do this for you AT NO COST since I have built/designed the platform
already. It is still ok if you don't need my help, but kindly let me know your position so that I do not waste my time waiting in vain.
I shall give you details of how this deal would be done, but in your response kindly let me know what I stand to gain from you by helping you actualize this
Jack Bank ole