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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Beauty Musa <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2012 12:16:41 +0100 (BST)
I know this mail will come to you as a surprise since we haven't known or come across each other before considering the fact that I sourced your email contact through the Internet in search of trusted person who can assist me.
I am Beauty Musa Jammeh 24 years old female from the Republic of Gambia, the Daughter of Late Major Musa Jammeh. My late father was Principal Protection Officer to President Yahya Jammeh. He died on the 19 Nov 2007 at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital following an illness at Sukuta Village, Kombo North Gambia.
I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father. Meanwhile I wanted to travel to Europe, but she hide away my international passport and other valuable documents. Luckily she did not discover where I kept my father's File which contained important documents. Now I am presently staying in the Mission Refugee camp in Burkina Faso. I am seeking for long term
relationship and investment assistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$ 6.5 Million in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin. I had contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager told me that being a refugee, my status according to the local law does not authorize me to carry out the operation. However, he advised me to provide a trustee who will stand on my behalf. I had wanted to inform my stepmother about this deposit but I am afraid that she will not offer me anything after the release of the money.
Therefore, I decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank account while I will relocate to your country and settle down with you. As you indicated your interest to help me I will give you the account number and the contact of the bank where my late beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It is my intention to compensate you with 20% of the total money for your assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable venture which you will recommend to me as have no any idea about foreign investment. Please all communications should be through email for confidential purposes.
Thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. I will give you details in my next mail after receiving your acceptance mail to help me.
Miss Beauty Musa Jammeh
Sorry if you received this letter in your spam, Due to recent
connection error here in the country.