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)
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Paul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 00:43:05 +0530 (IST)
Subject: THE YEAR 2011 IS A BLESSED YEAR FOR YOU AND ME
How are you today?. Well it is a pleasure to contact you on this regard and i prayed that this will turned out to be ever lasting relationship for both of us.How ever it's just my urgent need for a Foreign partner that made me to contact you for this Transaction.
I am a banker by profession from Burkina-faso in west Africa and currently holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting Unit of the Bank.I have the opportunity of transferring the left over fund ($10.5 Million Us Dollars)Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States of American Dollars of one of my Bank clients who died along with his supposed next of kin in a Bomb blast
Hence I am inviting you for a business deal where the money can be shared between both of Us in the ratio of 50% / 50% .
If you are really intrested in my proposal further details of the Transfer will be forwarded unto you as soon as I receive your return mail.
YOUR NAME: .........................
YOUR COUNTRY: ......................
YOUR PHONE NUMBER:..................
YOUR AGE: ..........................
YOUR OCCUPATION: ...................
Have a nice day.