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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: MR PAUL MADI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:21:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
My Dearest Friend,
I am MR. PAUL MADI, The chief auditor in bank of Africa (boa) Burkina Faso West African, One of our customers, with his entire family was among the victims of plane crash and before his death, he has an account with us valued at $27.2million us dollars(twenty-seven million two hundred thousand us dollars) in our bank and according to the Burkina Faso law, at the expiration of years if no body applies to claim the funds a grace of thirty (30) days will be given before the money will revert to the ownership of the Burkina Faso government.
My proposals that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin or distant cousin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this old manâs labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power.
As a foreign partner which this money will be transfer into your account, you are entitle to 40% of the total money why55%will be for me as the moderator of this transaction and 5% is been mapped out for any expenditure that may be incur during the course of this transaction. Please note that there will be no problem as my bank has made all effort through to reach for any of his relation but all was fruitless.
My position as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful execution of this (deal) transaction.
Send the following:
1)your full name.....
5)passport or photo.....
7) personal Mobile number.....
8) Personal fax number.....
9) Home &office address.....
MR. PAUL MADI.