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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Sankara Bouda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Sankara Bouda <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:33:19 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM DESK OF MR.SANKARA BOUDA
Â Dear Friend,
This message might meet you in utmost surprise, however,it's just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I m a bank by profession from Burkina Faso in west Africa and currently holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting unit of the bank.I have the opportunity of transferring the left over funds ($15.5 million) of one of my bank clients who died along with his entire family on December 2008 in a plane crash. Hence,i am inviting you for a business deal where by this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 60/40 and 60 for me while 40 is for you.
If you agree to my business proposal.further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail. have a great day.Â Â NB, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THIS TRANSACTION AS YOUR TOP SECRET AND MAKE IT CONFIDENTIAL TILL WE RECEIVES THE FUND INTO THE ACCOUNT THAT YOU WILL PROVIDE TO THE BANK. DON'T DISCLOSE IT TO ANY BODY IN YOUR COUNTRY "PLEASE", BECAUSE THE SECRECY OF THIS TRANSACTION IS AS WELL AS THE SUCCESS OF IT.