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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "transfer into your 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 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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2016 08:06:44 +0800
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
My Dearest Friend,
I am MR. PAUL MADI, The chief auditor in bank of Africa (boa) Burkina Faso
West African, One of our customers, with his entire family was among the
victims of plane crash in the year 2003 and before his death, he has an
account with us valued at $27.2million us dollars (twenty-seven million two
hundred thousand us dollars) in our bank and according to the Burkina Faso
law, at the expiration of Ten years if nobody applies to claim of the funds a
grace of five year also will be given before the money will revert to the
ownership of the Burkina Faso government.
My proposals is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of
kin or distant cousin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this
old mans labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government
officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill
innocent citizens in the search for political powers.
As a foreign partner which this money will be transfer into your account, you
are entitle to 50% of the total money while 50% will be for me as the
moderator of this transaction, Please note that there will be no problem as my
bank has made all effort through to reach for any of his relation but all was
My position as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful
execution of this (deal) transaction.
Please send the following if you are interested in this transaction and Please
go through this site
1) Your full name.....
5) Passport or photo.....
7) Personal Mobile number.....
8) Personal fax number.....
9) Home & office address.....
Please if you are interested kindly get back to me through this my private
email as follow (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details and more
understanding about this golden opportunity.
MR. PAUL MADI.