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:
- "million us 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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gugu" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 14:06:19 -0000
Subject: Transfer account from needed Mr Dan Gugu.
Transfer account from needed Mr Dan Gugu
FOREIGN REMMITANCE AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
I have a proposal for you - this however is not mandatory nor will I
in any manner compel you to honour against your will. I am 50, and
work with a bank (one of the African leading banks in the West Coast).
Here in this bank existed a dormant account for the past 8 years which
belong to a American national who is now late Mr.Raymond Beck Mrs.
Dorene Beck who died on Egypt Air Flight 990
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm When I discovered
that there had been no deposits nor withdrawals from this account for
this long period, I decided to carry out a system investigation and
discovered that non of the family member nor relations of the late
person is aware of this
account.This is the story in a nutshell. Now I want an account
overseas where the bank will transfer this funds.
Thereafter, I had planned to destroy all related documents for this
account. It is a careful network and for the past eleven months I have
worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free operation.
The amount is not so much at the moment and plus all the accumulated
interest the balance in this account stands at-(US$ 9.5 million US
Now our questions are:-
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust?
3. What will be your commission?
If you can sponsor this transfer Consider this and get back at us as
soon as possible. Finally, it is my humble prayer that the information
as contained herein be accorded the necessary attention, urgency as
well as the secrecy it deserves. I Expect your urgent response if you
can handle this project. Call me at this direct line +228-
9124789 after sending a mail for
confirmation.If you need an urgent response send an email.
I am now on Holidays 00447574409156 in London going back soon please get back.
I have link in London as well if you want this fund to pass via London.
Mr Dan Gugu.