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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- your: please reply me through my e-mail address: (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) 1. your (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: arouna bassirou <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:54:21 +0000
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT PLEASE.
My name is Mr.Arouna Bassirou,
A Banker in one of the reputable Bank here in my Country. I have decided to contact you on a business proposal of $7.2M (Seven Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
One of our customers, the depositor of the above said fund; accidentally died with his wife and children leaving no one to come for the claim of his fund with our bank. The deceased customer used his wife as the next of kin but unfortunately, The wife died along side with him leaving nobody for the claim.
According to our Banking law, If deceased funds remain unclaimed, the fund will be transferred into the reserve Bank as unclaimed Bill. This issue was raised in the Board meeting held, and I don't want the fund to go into the Bank's treasury and as such, let us claim the fund now if you are interested.
I want to present you as his business partner so that the Bank will transfer the fund into your Bank account for us to share it. Your percentage will be 40% while 50% will be for me. Then 10% will be used for expenses and to install a joint company in your country which will bear our names in particular and whatever profit made out from this company will be used in helping the less privileges, motherless babies home and charity organization in the world.
As an insider in this Bank, I assure you that, this transaction is 100% risk free and legal. And it success will bring your family and mine to an everlasting relationship in future.
The transaction will take us only 14 Bank working days depending on your swift response. If you are willing to do the transaction with me, Contact me for more details and give me your: please reply me through my e-mail address: (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
1. Your Age..............................
2. Mobile Phone no.........................
3. Private Email id ...................................... for confidential reasons.
Thanks for your co-operation,
Mr Arouna Bassirou.
Senior Staff Manager.