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:
- "from the desk of" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: williams bom <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: williams bom <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:39:54 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ATTEN: DEAR ,
>From the Desk ofÂ Â Mr Williams Bom
Bank OF Africa Cotonou Benin
Address: C/48 plot 12 Jerico
Phone: +229 66 15 06 79
Fax :Â Â +229 21 33 23 11
Email:Â Â firstname.lastname@example.org
ATTEN: DEAR ,
I am Mr Williams Bom Director of operation in the Bank Of Africa (BOA).
I am writing to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $5,500,
000.00 (Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United
States dollars) into your accounts.
This fund belongs to late Mr. Ahmed Hassan RowanÂ a Lebanese business
magnate and property consultant here in Benin Republic. The late Mr.
Ahmed died in a plane crash alongside with his wife and only daughter
On 25th December 2003, victims with Boe 727-type air plane belonging
to African Transport Union (UTA). In this fatal tragidy with
Beirut-bound flight, 110 persons died and Over 40 others still
reported missing, while 22 passengers survived, you may confirm the
event of the air crash throug,(
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3353551.stm ) andsince then the
fund has been in a suspense account and no one has ever come for the fund.
After my further investigation on his file, I discovered that late Mr.
Ahmed did not fill his next of kin name in his certificate of deposit,
and the laws guiding our bank stated that after the expiration of (12)
Twelve years, if nobody comes for the claim as the next of kin, the
fund will be channel into bank treasury as unclaimed fund.
Because of the static of this transaction I want you to stand as the
next of kin. Our bank will transfer this fund into your stated account
if you follow the instruction that I will give you.
I have decided the sharing as following: 50% for you 50% for me The
transfer is risk free on both sides hence you are going to follow my
instruction until the bank transfer the said fund in your account.
More details will be forwarded to you immediately you reply my mail
through this my private email address for security reason:
(email@example.com)Â please reply immediately with your
telephone contact for easy communication and try to give me a call .
Mr Williams Bom.
Call me on +229 66150679