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)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: mahamsli ouedraogo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: mahamsli ouedraogo <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 03:21:28 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Reply needed, urgently please.
This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore it as unserious could come into your mind but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility.
I am Mr.Mahamsli Ouedraogo the officer in charge of Auditing department of Bank Of Africa (BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso in West Africa, with due respect and Regard, I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.
During our investigation and auditing in this Bank, I came across a very huge sum of money belonging to one of our deceased customer who died on Tuesday 10th June 2008 on a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this bank without any claim of the fund in our Custody either from his family or relation before my discovery to this development. As you can read more from the website bellow:
Although personally, I kept this information secret to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution, the said amount is Twelve million Two Hundred Thousand United States dollars(US$12.2m), as it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information on my search for a reliable partner, I contacted you to be my partner and person to be reliable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem.
Meanwhile all the arrangement to put claim over this fund as the next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in Place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity, In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant and we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.
This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of oath to the bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free, on smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% of the total sum as gratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer,while 50% will be for me, please you have been advised to keep "Top Secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you.
I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account, and I will come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further Investment.
I suggest you get back to me As soon as possible and also include your personal phone/mobile and fax numbers for easy communication.
The officer in charge of
Auditing department of
Bank Of Africa(BOA)