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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mike Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 10:46:38 +0400
Subject: Hello Dear, Urgent Reply
It is my pleasure to share this opportunity with you. I hope you will not expose or betray this trust that I am about to impose on you for the mutual benefit of both of us. I am Professor Peter Henry , a banker in one of the most African leading banks here in Cote d ivoire in west Africa.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of (usd11.5 m) million into your account. This money belongs to one of the (United Nations peace keepers) who died during the civil war in cote divoire in the year 2002.
This fund has been in our bank for so many years without any body to claim the fund because the account holder died along with his family in the war living no body behind to claim the fund. I want to present you as the beneficiary of the fund using my position in the bank as an account officer of the deceased customer.
Our bank top officials are planning to divert the fund into our bank treasury as an unclaimed fund by the end of this fiscal year to share the money at the end among them selves. I don't want the fund to go into our bank treasury as an abandoned fund. So this is the reason why I contacted you so that both of us can handle the deal and share the money and invest together in your country.
In the disbursement of the money, I agree to share the money 60% / 40% with you for the provision of your account where bank will transfer the fund.
I will give you more details about this project when I hear from you. As a banker I know the steps to take for us to succeed in this claim. This business is risk free. I will provide you with every information concerning the deceased customer and the fund if the need arises.
I need your information as stated bellow to proceed.
1. Name in full:.......................
7. Marital status:............
8. Mobil number ..................................
Note: This transaction requires a capable hand and trust between me and you for us to succeed. For your information if you are not capable to work with me please do not border to reply back.
professor Mike Johnson