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:
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Michel Lione <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Dr Michel Lione <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 18:35:30 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: SEASON'S GREETING
Â Assalamu Alaikum,
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business
relationship with you, I know this message will sounds very strange to
you, but I have no choice than to risk my life to choose a stranger
like you I have never seen before. We leave in a global world today,
and with the help of internet technology one can easily communicate
with one another all around the world without knowing him or she in
person, what matters will be the trust and the Informationâs you got
about the person. In this case we can understand our self and work
like one family.
Please, I donât want you to feel embrace by receiving such message
from someone you have not seen before, but my dear, such is life some
time in life things works in a way we never expected.
I will go ahead by informing you that in my account department of the
African Development Bank (ADB) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso I discovered
an abandoned sum of US$18 Million Dollars only in an account that
belongs to one of the foreign customer here in my bank that died in a
plane crash that almost took the whole life of the passengers on
Right now as I am sending this message to you, my bank is expecting
any of his family member who will come for the claim of this fund, but
since then all proved abortive. And thatâs my reason of contacting
you. I need your total cooperation to execute this deal. Youâre in
good position to claim this fund because I will furnish you with the
accurate informationâs concerning the decease and the fund. You may
decide to claim this fund by bank transfer as well as claiming it in
case, that is to say coming down here after you have applied to the
bank as the next of kin to the deceased fund.
Please my dear I assure you that this transaction is 100% free risk,
as long as you will follow my instructions, do not allow this great
opportunity to skip away from us because of your ignorance when you
receive this message. You will have 40% of the fund while 50% will be
for me and 10% will be for any expenses that may occur during the time
of transferring the fund into your bank account in your country.
Bill & Exchange Manager (ADB)