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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Carlos Mario" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 20:27:42 +0100
Subject: Hello ,
>From Mr.Carlos Mario
IMPORTANT AND URGENT REPLY NOW
Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr Carlos Mario Former director of operations Banco Madrid Bank.I have an obscured busines transaction for you. Before the U.S and Iraq war our client Sfc. Roy James (3rd Infantry Division)who was with the U.S Army who went for the Iraq war and also a business man made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 Calender months, with value of Sixteen Millions five hundred thousand United state Dollars in my branch.
Source of money, they made money out of iraq. see the website. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm Upon maturity several notices was sent to him,even during the war earlier this year .Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found out that the Soldier had been killed during the war in a bomb blast..After further investigations it was also discovered that Sfc. Roy James (3rd Infantry Division) did not declare any next of kin in his official paper including the paper work of his bank deposit.And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. As you can see, US$16.5M (Sixteen Million Five hundred thousand United state Dorllars) is still lying in the bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to the by-laws of my country at the expiration of five years the funds will revert to the ownership of t
he central European Government i
WHAT IS TO BE DONE. I want you to know that i have had everything planned out so that we will come out successful. There is no risk involved at all in the matter as all paper/documents are genuine and correct, Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matter concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred, we shall share in the ratio of 55% for me, 40% for you and 5% for any expenses incurred during the course of this operation.Should you be interested please let me know so that we could act fast. After the money is transfered to your account, I shall come over to your country for investment purpose.
Send me details below for easy communication, call me on phone for easy communication
Your Full Names....
Occupation...... Date of birth..... Cell No..... Home Phone No... Fax........... I shall provide you with more details of this operation, and on myself so that we could build our relationship on trust. i would also require more information too from you later on. Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated. Kind Regards, Mr.Carlos Mario