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 cost" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mark Jude <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 09:27:08 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re Greetings to you.
Greetings to you.
It is my pleasure to communicate with you on this fruitfull transaction. I am Mr Mark Jude, an accountant in the auditting and accounting section of our bank here in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.
With due respect and regards I wish to seek your urgent partnership to transfer the sum of Eight Million Four Hundred U.S Dollars (U.S8.4M) from our bank to your own bank account. This money belongs to a deceased customer who died in a plane crash with his wife and his fund has been lying dormant with our bank without any claim either from his family or relative up to date. I am contacting you to present you as the next of kin to the deceased by which the funds will be transferred to you. There is absolutely no risk involved in this transaction as all loope holes have been taken care of and all necessary informations as regards to the fund have been secured.
Please be notified that I am still working with the bank and it's only me and my colleague (boss) who have information of this development therefore I advise you to treat this proposal very secret for the security of our jobs and successful conclusion of the transaction. I have served the bank faithfully for good number of years and i am presently preparing for my retirement so I see this as a golden opportunity to be comfortable in life after retirement and also help the needy around me. As soon as this fund is secured into your account we shall meet with you in your country for collection of our share and look at possible investment over there.
We have worked out all procedures and agreed sharing ratio to be as follows: 20% for you (the account owner), 70% for us while 10% will be set aside for expenses made during the transaction and these include, cost of procuring all documents, payment of transfer cost and payment of taxes invloved.
For your perucial, I here below send you the website of the plane crash that took the life of the account owner and his family:
Looking foward to hearing from you soonest.
Mr Mark Jude