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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Kafando Boureima <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 14:33:46 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: REPLY URGENT FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before but I believeone has to risk confidence to succeed sometimes in life. And I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families. Presently I am the Manager Incharge of Auditing section of the bank, but about to retire from active Bankservice to start a new life.
But I am sceptical to reveal this particular secret to a stranger, During ourauditing in our Bank, I came across some abandoned fund sum of(US$12.5 Million dollars) laying in wait here in the bank, and when I carried out my investigation I find-out that the fund belong to our late deceased customer whodied with his entire family in Iraq War since 2006, leaving nobody for the claim.
The fund has been dormant (in-active) for years in our Bank here without anybody coming for the claim I want the bank to release the fund to you as thenearest person to our late deceased customer (the owner of the account) who died a long with his supposed next of kins in Iraq war since 2006 I don't want the money to go into our Bank treasury as an abandoned fund, so this is the reason why I contacted you, so that my Bank will release the fund to you as the nearest person to our late customer, This is a genuine business transaction only I cannot operate it alone with out using a Foreigner according to the laws guiding our bank, that is why i am contacting you in this manner to help me stand before my bank as the beneficiary to claim this fund and my bank will release the fund into your bank account.
Please I want you to keep this proposal as a top secret for yourself and. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned amount ifyou agree to execute this transaction with me.
Mr Kafando Boureima