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:
- "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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Brown Fufor" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 23:38:12 -0700
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION
ADB House, Independence Ave.,
I am Mr. Brown Fufor an Account Auditor General of Bank here in Ghana, whose operational license was revoked seven years ago by the Government. With the regaining of our license we are been called by the management for the internal compilation of lists of depositors for repayment. I have been in custody of an account belonging to a foreigner who I am the Accounting Officer. This account have a total of $18,200,000.00 USD, and It have been confirmed that the owner died of cardiac arrest on getting news on the death of his only son in a plane crash. Since this information got to the bank, we have been expecting his relative or next of kin to lay claim on this fund but all in vain, this was before our operatiaonal license was seized.
Our banking laws and guidelines stipulate that if such money remains unclaimed after five (5) years, it will be transfer into the Bank Treasury as unclaimed funds. Now with the release of our operational license, it is an opportunity for me to convert the money for self-utilization, and to avoid the transfer of this money into the Bank Treasury as unclaimed funds. My request for a foreign partner as next of kin in this business is occasion by the fact that the customer was a foreigner, me as a Ghanaian cannot lay claim or stand as next of kin to a foreigner.
I have perfected all arrangement on this with my experience as a banker to have you present before the bank as the business partner/next of kin of this customer to facilitate the immediate transfer of the funds to you as I arranged, you MUST apply first to the Bank as the next of kin of the deceased. Please list your below data:
1. Your Full names
2. Your Occupation
3. Your private phone number
4. Your current residential address
5. Brief information on your profile that should include your age, nature of job and marital status.
I will need your above information to update the database list of beneficiaries of this bank. I have resolve that 30% of the fund will be for your help while I take 65% as the initiator of the transfer and the internal arrangement that I will perfect in your favour as my partner/foreign trustee. On receipt of your reply I will send to you by fax or e-mail the Text of the Application, I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free; you should not entertain any of atom fear as all required arrangements have been made for this transaction. In your positive respond get back to me on my private e-mail above.