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:
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "this business is hitch free " (a common phrase found 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alex Gidonou " <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2016 08:07:36 -0700
Subject: Greetings from Mr. Alex Gidonou
Greetings from Mr. Alex Gidonou. I am contacting you because I need a foreign partner to execute a project have been working on for the past twelve years. I am the Auditing and accounting director of Livex International Bank. I am writing in respect of one of our deceased foreign customer with account number 7016620987.
The Late Mr. Frederick Lloyd whom is one of the Directors of an oil company based in Benin Republic-West Africa, On Friday 26th December 2003, He was involved in a plane crash and unfortunately lost his life. Ever since then I have made several inquiries on the media to locate any of our clients extended relatives but my effort was not successful.
VIEW THIS WEB SITE FOR MORE INFO:
We have not received any official claim for his money US$5M (Five Million, USD) with my bank because he has no family members who are aware of the existence of the account nor the funds. I have secretly monitored his account opening files and all informationâs are in my custody and disposal. The amount stated above has been in the custody of my bank branch for over 16 years. Please note that following our banking rules & guidelines here funds of this nature if remained unclaimed for a period of 16 years will be confiscated by the federal government but due to the high level of government corruption among our senior government official they will now divert the funds to private pocket instead of government purse so for this reason I have decided to grab this opportunity myself because have seen government take advantage of monies of this nature too many times.
On this note, since I have all the required details I decided to seek your consent so you can be presented as Next of Kin to the deceased so my bank can award the funds to your favor without any breach of the law. If you agree to be my partner in this project I will give you 40% of the total amount, then 10% will be donated to an orphanage home here in Benin while the remainder 50% will be for me.
Upon the receipt of your response, I will send you by fax or e-mail the letter of application which you will type, sign and send back to our bank to enable us start this project. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch free and that you should not entertain any fear as all modalities for the smooth and easy transfer of this fund has been finalized, this transaction will be completed within five business days of receiving your response, after you apply to the bank as a relation to the deceased.
I look forward to your urgent response.
Mr. Alex Gidonou
Tel: +229 686 38901