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)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mamadou Samurai <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mamadou Samurai <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:22:53 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU?
Â Dear Friend,
I am Attorney Mamadou Samurai , I have decided to bestow this trust on you, which I pray you will not ignore or betray. I apologize in advance for any inconveniences this may cause you. I am the Personal Attorney to late Engineer P. B. Corcoran, who was a contractor here in Benin Republic. He died 2003 with his entire family perished in Air-Crash on board from Cotonou. View the below BBC web site for more information, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ africa/3348109.stm
As a matter of fact, my client made a fixed deposit amount, valued at ($18.5m) Million USD with a Financial Institution here in Benin Rep, upon the duration time of their agreement, His Bank started contacting him but no response consequently, the bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to the deceased as his personal attorney, or have his account confiscated after ten years, as it is in the law of this country.
Since then, I have made several contacts to his countries embassy in order to locate any of my clients extended relatives, which had also been unsuccessful. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over two years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since none of his relatives were no way to be found so that the proceeds of this account valued at $18.5 million dollars could be transferred into your bank account. Thereafter, we will both share it in percentage according to our contributions to boost the success of this great transaction.
I have all the necessary informationâs that can be used to back up the claims from the bank where the fund was deposited by the deceased. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us make this great benefiting transaction successfully.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. And the way we are going to achieve this, I will need the following information from you,
Your Full Name and Address, Your Age, Occupation and Position,
Your Telephone and Mobile for Communication Purpose. For privacy, reply to my
private Email below: email@example.com
I await your reply ASAP.
Attorney Mamadou Samurai