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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Chintia Pmughis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Chintia Pmughis <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 02:27:59 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE (READ AND GET BACK TO ME)
Dear Good Friend,
Sorry for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making you this offer, it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature. I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving US$14.5M. Meanwhile, I know there is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many miscreants and impostors (scammers) have taken possession of the internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition.
This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of the International Commercial Bank- Burkina Faso, which I am the manager. I have already submitted an approved end of the year report for the year 2013 to my head office here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and the financial report has been endorsed without the excess fund, and they will never know of this. I have since then, placed this amount in a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary, and I am contacting you as a foreigner to claim the money into your account. Upon your response, I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment Account. I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure, thereafter, bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.
It is up to you to decide whether this letter deserves your trust and confidentiality. And if indeed it does, whatever your actions and your decision let me know immediately so that I will give you the detail how we should go about it. If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 45% of the funds while 55% shall be for me.
Kindly forward your response to my private e-mail box: