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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "for easy and confidential communication" (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: mrmichael stein <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2017 14:03:28 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend,
I am Mr.Michael Stein, one of the top officials with the Benin Republic Energy Corporation (BEC)I have an over-invoiced contract sum of $15.5MUSD in My ministry which I carefully put away and now urgently need A reliable person to assist me receive it into his or her account overseas this fund resulted from a contract awarded by my govt under the budget allocation to my ministry and the contract was executed commissioned, signed and the contractor was paid his actual cost of the contract and I Amnow left with the balance of US$15.5MILLION as the over-invoiced amount which I have deliberately overestimated for my own investment.
Civil servants here are forbidden to operate or own foreign bank account and this is why I contact you forassistance. I have agreed to share the money as follows 40% for you the (account owner) and 60% for me.
I have put in many years in service to the corporation. I have been exercising patience for this opportunity for so long and I believe this is a life time opportunity and I cannot afford to miss the opportunity so I
have careful maped out all my strategy and want to re-assure you that this transaction is very much 100% risk and hitch free. As I have covered everything about the funds and nobody is looking for it and nobody will ever look for it.
To get this fund paid into your account,if you are not comfortable with nominating an already existing account as you might have your personal funds in there, you are required to open a new and empty account and send me the informations like the bank account numbers,the bank international transfer swift or routine number,Your beneficiary name as appears in the account,Your residential address or office address,your bank name and address, your private Mobile and telephone number for easy and confidential communication.
Soon as I get the info I will tender it to the bank for transfer of the funds and make arrangements to come over to your country for my own share immediately the funds are transferred to your bank account. All these will only take 7 working days to transfer the fund into your bank account right from the day I receive the requirements above as I am
here to expedite actions and facilitate the transfer with my position here,Act fast and send me your reply at my alternative email address.Soon as I get your reply I will give you further details and also send you my direct tel.number through which we can be communicating.Send me email on my alternative email: (firstname.lastname@example.org<https://email@example.com>)
Thanks Yours Sincerely,