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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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: "Dr. Ramadan Abdu" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 19:54:57 -0400
Subject: DEAR FRIEND,
FROM THE DESK OF DR. RAMADAN ABDU
BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER,
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO.
I AM DR. RAMADAN ABDU. I WORK IN THE AUDIT/REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF AFRICA DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB) OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO. HOWEVER, I HAVE A BUSINESS WHICH WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US. THE AMOUNT OF MONEY INVOLVED IS ($30 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) WHICH I WANT TO TRANSFER OUT OF THE COUNTRY TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.
I AM TAKING MY WIFE TO USA FOR TREATMENT OF LIVER DAMAGE AND THIS MONEY IS OWNED BY A MAN CALLED MR. ANDREAS SCHRANNER FROM MUNICH, GERMANY A BUSINESS COMMERCIALIST IN WEST-AFRICAN REGIONS. HE HAS
BEEN DEAD SINCE JULY 31ST 2000 AND SINCE THEN NO CLAIM HAS BEEN PLACED ON HIS BANK ACCOUNT BALANCE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THIS SITE BELLOW: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
THEREFORE, I WANT TO TRANSFER THIS MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY BUT SUCH FUND CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED WITHOUT A NEXT OF KIN ATTACHED TO THE FUND. THE FUND COULD BE TRANSFERRED IN THESE WAY, YOU SHALL PRESENT YOURSELF AS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES TO THE DECEASED PERSON [ANDREAS SCHRANNER ] AS DETAILS SHALL BE THAT YOU ARE THE CARE-TAKER BUSINESS ASSOCIATES TO MR. ANDREAS SCHRANNER AND HIS PROPERTIES.
I SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO YOU MATERIALS AND INFORMATION WITH WHICH A SUCCESSFUL CLAIM SHALL BE PLACED ON THE FUND. I SHALL BE YOUR GUIDANCE AND INSTRUCTOR THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THIS TRANSACTION SO AS TO ENSURE A SWIFT AND SURE TRANSFER OF THE FUND TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. AS TO YOUR BENEFITS, YOU SHALL BE ENTITLED TO 45% OF THIS FUND FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION IN THIS TRANSACTION WHILE 5% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR EXPENSES BOTH OF US INCURRED DURING THE COURSE OF THIS TRANSACTION.
SO IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, SEND A REPLY TO ME IMMEDIATELY SO THAT I CAN FORWARD THE APPLICATION OF CLAIM TO YOU FOR YOU TO SEND IT TO OUR BANK, AND IN YOUR REPLY PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR [PRIVATE PHONE AND
YOUR FAX NUMBER] URGENCY HAS TO BE IMPLIED AND THIS BUSINESS MUST STRICTLY BE A DEAL BETWEEN BOTH OF US.
DR. RAMADAN ABDU