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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mariam Bakayoko <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:31:15 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM MARIAM BAKAYOKO
May I humbly solicit your confidence in this transaction, as being utterly confidential and top secret. But I am assuring you that you shall be very happy at the end of the day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction, as I wish to repose my trust and confidence on your discreteness and ability in transaction of this nature. Let me start by introducing my self properly to you, my name is Mrs. Mariam Bakayoko, I am the regional Bank Manager of BOA Bank Abidjan-Cote D' Ivoire. I came to know about you in my Private Search for a reliable and reputable foreigner to handle this Confidential Transaction.
As the regional Bank Manager of BOA BANK; it is my duty to send a financial report to my head office at the end of each year. On the course of the 2007 year report, We discovered an excess profit of Fifteen Million Us Dollars , [ $ 15,000,000.00 ] which we have kept in SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary.
As an officer of the bank I can not be directly connected to this Fund for Security Reasons, that is why I am contacting you for us to work together to get the said Fund into your bank account for INVESTMENT in your Country.
The percentage Ratio is thus: 40% for you , 60 % for me and my colleagues .
Note: There are practically no risks involved in this transaction as it is 100% risk free and will be legally bonded, it will be bank to bank transfer, all I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund who made the deposit with Kumasi branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account. If you accept this offer to work with me, if you find this proposal suitable for you, kindly reply for full details .
I will appreciate it very much, If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not make undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed on you, and I assure you that we shall achieve it successfully.