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 united state 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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Obasseki" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 20:00:15 +0300
Subject: Very Urgent Massege
We hope this message will meet you in a good health? We the management of Novena International Trust Bank Plc, has been directed by Mr. Samuel Clark to contact you over a Bond Deposit of $3,600.000.00 usd ( Three Million Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) which Mr. Samuel Clark deposited with our institution on your behalf. Reason for this money is for you to help Launch a Foundation on Motherless Babies and the Less Privileged in your area in his name, Mr. Samuel Clark was awarded a Multi Million United State Dollars project in a remote area of Japan but it is unfortunate that he died in motor accident last two weeks on his way to the airport for the execution of the contract in Japan. (Late Mr. Samuel Clark) Deposited the $3,600.000.00 usd with our Bank in a good faith, trusting that you will be capable of handling the assignment since he did not have enough time to do it himself.
His instruction to us after the transfer of the funds into your account is that you shall use ($ 3,000.000.00 usd) on the foundation and keep ($600,000.00) as your reward for participation. For your information, the Board Directors of this Bank has already deliberated over the successful completion of this mandate through our on-line Banking system on your favuor.
The needful document of the transaction will be given to you on the receipt of your urgent response for confirmation and also a direction on how to proceed on with the Funds Transfer.
Mr. David Obasseki .
Director Foreign Operation,
Novena International Trust Bank,
Cotonou ,Benin- Republic.