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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Priceller Mbuto <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:56:02 +0800
Subject: Re: With Respect From Miss Priceller Mbuto
Before I proceed my name is Miss. Priceller Mbuto, the only child and daughter of (Late) Mr. & Mrs. David Mbuto, nationality of Ivory Coast. My parents were both killed during the 2011 civil war in Ivory Coast; the reason was they were supporting the former president Mr. Laurent Gbagbo. My father was a well know politician in this country before he was killed with my mum. During the crisis my father sent me away to France with hope that they will win the power again not knowing that his end has come.
My reason for contacting you today is that this is 3 years which my parent died and my fatherâs Lawyer read my fatherâs will before everybody in the family and the lawyer made me to know that my late father owns a dormant account which involve huge sum of money worth of US$3.500.000.00 million dollars deposited in a bank here in this country and he made me his next who will inherit the fund after 3 years of his death.
I have gone to the bank where the money was deposited and the bank has confirmed to me the existence of the money. And the bank gave me a condition that they cannot release that fund to me here in country because of my father was a politician, and they can only release that money to me by providing an offshore account outside this country. So my dear I want you to stand behind me as my foreign partner so that I can present you to the bank to enable the bank proceed and transfer the money to your account so that once you receive the money you will send me visa and ticket to come over to your country and settle down and you will help me to invest that money so that I will have a good future.
I am waiting for your kind respond so I can give you more details.
Miss. Priceller Mbuto