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:
- "dear friend" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Amina Mohamed" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 02:17:43 -0700
Subject: Re: Assistance
I don't think there is a better time for me to have this discussion with you, especially all that we've gone through in trying to raise funds for a sustainable democracy in Burkina Faso. My name is Ajah Amina Mohamed one of the wife of formal president of Burkina Faso Blaise Campore who was thrown out of power during the uprising led by opposition party, We are currently in exile as a refugee, I was able to stash one hundred thousand kilo of gold (100,000 kg) as well as Fifty five thousand carat of diamond with a financial and security company in Burkina Faso.
The deposit was secretly made under the pretense that the packages contains Gold and personal effects. The reason for this is because it has been a rule then that governments officials serving then were banned from owning foreign bank accounts (especially in Europe and America). At this point of our lives and the financial constraints we are facing , I am seeking your assistance to help move the package out for onward investment in your country, including gold and diamond, as far i can be assured it will be safe in your care until i have found my way out from this problem. I don't know if i will be alive or not. I will offer you 40% from the total amount for your assistance , be rest assured that this business is 100% safe on your part provided you treat it with utmost secrecy and confidentiality, please.
I felt it will be only wise for me to mention the existence of this package to you because i do think that you are someone I can trust and rely on due to the confidentiality of the deposit, I can only rely on you and the company in the Europe/America because of our current situation of civil unrest here in Burkina Faso, I have resumed communication with the financial and security company, and they are anxiously awaiting instructions from me on way forward.
If you are willing to work with me on this project, I will need you to contact my Personal-Aid His name is Mr Moussa Ismael and email (email@example.com) he will be more than willing to provide you with much details of how we can bring this to a successful transaction. For easy communication kindly send him the following details.
(1) your full name and address (2) company name and position (3) your mobile phone number
Thank you so much for your understanding as i look forward to hearing from you soonest.