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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: Salam <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 00:23:35 +0100 (BST)
Subject: URGENT URGENT
I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. I am Dr.Abu Salam from Burkina Faso the Accounting and Auditing Manager bank of Africa (B.O.A), Ouagadougou
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 families. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of (usd$10.5m) million to your account within 10 to 14 banking days. This money has been dormant for years in our bank without claim. I want the bank to release the money to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer (the owner of the account) died along with his supposed next of kin in an air crash since July, 2007.
I don't want the money to go into our bank treasurer account as an abandoned fund. So this is the reason why I contacted you so that the bank can release the money to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you are not upon receipt of your reply, I will give you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 35% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to handle this business with me? And 10% will be set aside for any expenses that warrant on the process before the fund get into your bank account such as telephone calls bills (etc).
Finally send your photo or your international passports for more identification.