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:
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Gloria Kai" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 19:25:38 -0200
My name is Mrs. Gloria Kai, I am a banker here in Ghana. I write you this proposal in good faith.
I have packaged a transaction that will be of mutual benefit to us. As the branch manager of the bank, it is my duty to send a financial report to my head office in the capital city, Accra, at the end of each financial year.
Following the release of the first quarter financial report, ending last year, I discovered that my branch made Four Million,and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars ($4,050,000.00); from the transactions accruing to the account of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The renowned auditors from my head office did not detect this.
I have moved the funds into what the bank call Escrow Call Account. Meanwhile as you know I cannot be directly connected to this money for obvious reasons. So my contacting you is to assist me receive the funds in your bank account in your country; which I know is possible if you liaise properly with me and get 50% of the total funds as your benefit.
The transfer would be made via swift and it will be a Bank-to-Bank wired transfer. All I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund. I will compute your particulars as the person who made the deposit in my branch, so that my head office will immediately order the transfer to your designated bank Account. Mail me through the above information if you think we can work together.
Please indicate your willingness to proceed in this project and send me your full name and address, telephone/fax numbers to facilitate communication.
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.Send me email with this email. email@example.com
Mrs. Gloria Kai
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