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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: Mr Mark Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mr Mark Jones <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:11:08 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ATTN, MY DEAR FRIEND,
ATTN, MY DEAR FRIEND,
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret.
It may surprise you receiving this mail from me, since there was no previous correspondence between us. My name is Mr. Nelson Mark, An accountant of the Gold Company here in Benin Republic. I put my trust in you by contacting to review the sum of money which was left unclaimed by our Customer who died among the Dana Flight 992.
My client who was among the victims had a balance deposit of $2,800,000.00M (TWO MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) with a bank here inÂ Benin Republic which was meant to purchase goods before his death. As the accountant to my late client, the bank has mandated me to present a member of her family heir/inheritor) to make Claims or the deposited fund will be confiscated and taken to the Bureau of bank Security as unclaimed.
After preliminary efforts of search for a direct family member which came to no avail, I was given an ultimatum to look for some relative to come for the claim or have the fund liquidated and made unserviceable in accordance with existing laws.
In accordance with the law of inheritance here, it is clearly stated that whereas the deceased died without living behind an offspring or the immediate biological family are no longer alive, such as in this situation, any of the deceased extended relative stands to inherit whatever property or money left by the deceased. It is on the basis of this section of the law that I want to present you to the bank since the deceased has no relation left to inherit this fund.
This transaction is 100% risk free because rule of law will be applied. I believe this would works out fine but the ratio will be 50-50 because all transfer legal procedures will take care of and be documented, do not be afraid. I earnestly await your response on email. However, if this business proposal offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology. Kindly send your response to my private email address:
Thanks and God bless.
Yourâs in service,
Phone; Tel +22999253854