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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 18:17:00 +0100 (BST)
Subject: FROM THE DESK OF BANK OF AFRICA Mr.Donald Benson
FROM THE DESK OF BANK OF AFRICA Mr.Donald Benson
BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER
BANK OF AFRICA.
My Name is Mr.Donald Benson.a credit officer with the one of the leading (Finance Trust House) here in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire. In my department i discovered an abandoned funds 15,200,000 00. Fifteen Million Two hundred Thousand united States dollars in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (Magnate Andreas Schranner from Munich,Germany) who died along with his entire family in July 2002 in a plane crash.You can veiw the latest report about the
incidence by BBC news.
Since i got information about his death, I have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidlings and laws but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and i don't want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed bill. The banking law and guidline here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after ten years, the money will be transfered into the bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is
occassioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and an Indigene cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner. Your percentage will be declare to you as soon as you indicate your interest. I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentage indicated . Therefore, to enable the immediate move of this fund to you arranged,you must apply first to the bank as relation or next of kin of the deceased indicating.
1.Your full name and address
2.Your telephone and fax number for easy communication.
Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application .I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the movement of the money. You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter.
Trusting to hear from you immediately.