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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Eden Zongo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 03:12:56 +0530 (IST)
Subject: (READ CAREFULLY AND KEEP SECRET)
Mr. Eden Zongo.
Senior Staff in File Department,
African Development Bank A.D.B
West Africa .
(âREMITTANCE OF $15 MILLION U.S.A DOLLARS CONFIDENTIAL IS THE CASE")
(READ CAREFULLY AND KEEP SECRET)
I am (Mr. Eden Zongo) a senior staff in file department in African development bank (A.D.B) Burkina Faso West Africa; I want to inquire from you if you can handle this transaction for mutual benefits/life opportunity for you and me. The transaction is about seeking your consent to present you as the next of kin/ beneficiary of the US$ 15. MILLION DOLLER, (FIFTEEN MILLION U.S.A DOLLARS), which belongs to one of our customer here in my bank.
He died in a Kenya plane crash 2003, with his family during their vacation journey. The Fund is currently in a suspense account awaiting claim, the bank made a public notice that they are ready to release this fund to any of his relatives abroad.
Therefore, by virtue of its nature as being utterly CONFIDENTIAL, top secret should be maintained please!, because I am still in the active service I do not need any form of implication especially now Iâm in the verge of my retirement to endanger my career at last!..
Since we got the information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines and laws.
In that regard, I decided to seek your consent for this prospective opportunity. Have it at the back of your mind, that the transaction does not involve any RISK, and does not need much engagement from you, since I am familiar with this kind of transaction being an insider. Necessary modalities will be worked out to enable us carry out the fund claim under a legitimate arrangement. I have resolved to offer you 40% of the total fund, 10% for sundry expenses that may be incurred during the process of executing this transaction into your bank account, and 50% percent for me.
I will give you more details about the transaction when I receive your affirmative response, more clarification information.
I look forward for your immediate Positive response
My regards to you and the family,
Mr. Eden Zongo.