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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Paul Compaore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:01:02 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM MR. PAUL COMPAORE/// CALL MER
Â Dear Friend,
I received encouraging information about you and how trusts worthy you are. I am delighted with such useful information. I am Foreign Operations Manager of Banque Internationale du Burkina (BIB/UBA) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.
I want to transfer US$10.5 Million to your bank account. The fund belongs to our deceased customer who died with his entire family in Iraq War 2006, leaving nobody for the claim and as such, I decided to contact you to enable us claim the fund. Your share is 40% while 60% for me.
This transaction is 100% risk free.
Contact me for more details.
Mr. Paul Compaoree
Banque Internationale du Burkina (BIB/UBA) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Tel:+226 79 19 53 92.
NB: The fund is free from drug and laundering related offences.