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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: Godsmark Kabore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 18:42:20 +0000
Subject: VERY URGENT / 100% CONFIDENTIAL
VERY URGENT / 100% CONFIDENTIAL
With due respect , trust and humanity, I appeal to you to exercise a little patient and read through my letter, I wish to contact you personally for a long term relationship and investment assistance in your Country, I will really like to have a good relationship with you and I have a special reason why I decided to contact you.
My name is Mr. GODSMARK KABORE I am in the Office of Auditing and Accounting File Manager with Bank of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina Faso. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of (US$12.5M DOLLARS) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (MR. RICHARD BURSON from Florida, U.S.A) who died along with his entire family on November 1999 in a plane crash and also left 22 karat GOLD DUST in a security company when he was alive.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($12.5 Million USD Dollars) to your account within 7 banking days, while every necessary arrangement should commence after I have hear from you.
This money has been dormant for years in our Bank without claim, and I don't want the money to go into the Reserve Bank of Burkina Faso (RBBF), as an abandoned fund.
So this is the reason why I contacted you so that the bank can release the money to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer.
Please I would like you to keep this transfer as a top secret between me and you alone ok.
I promise you that I will direct you on how this transfer will go successfully if only you can abide to my instruction.
Upon receipt of your reply I will give you full details on how the business will be executed.
Kindly send me All The Bank information below Where The Money Will Be Transferred, I Will Send It To Bank Remittance Office Direct So That They Will Be Communicating With You Until The Money Entered Your Account
(1) Your full name...
(2) Your address...
(6) Private telephone number
1, YOUR BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER
2, NAME OF YOUR BANK / ADDRESS OF YOUR BANK
3, SWIFT CODE OF THE BANK
4, YOUR FULL NAME
Age: 47 years.
Home Address: 10-12/avenue.Kanazoe.
B: P 1508
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL THE BANK INFORMATIONS TO START IMMEDIATELY