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419 Scams

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The 419 scam (also known as the Nigerian Four-One-Nine Scam) originated in Nigeria and got its name from a former relevant section of the Nigerian Criminal Code. It normally involves an e-mail informing you about a huge amount of money (that does not exist) that has been deposited somewhere and they cannot touch the money unless they transfer the funds to a foreign account. This is the bait. If you reply to this e-mail, they will know you took the bait and will request that you transfer money to their bank account (they call it an advance fee or transfer fee you have to pay in order to have the money transferred to your bank account). After paying the so-called transfer fee into their bank account, they will continue to ask for more money, every time with a new excuse. You will end up paying loads of money without getting anything in return. The Lottery Scam is another type of Advance Fee Fraud and has the same characteristics of your typical 419 scam.

Most of these scams involve money laundering, bribery and other illegal schemes, which mean you become an accomplice in the illegal activities of the scammers. People conned by these scams normally refrain from reporting it to their local law enforcement authorities out of fear of being prosecuted for fraud. The scammers count on this and use illegal and unethical schemes to make sure you won't go to the cops after being scammed.

Whatever you do never reply to these e-mails in any way! The people behind these e-mails are real life criminals.

The main characteristics of 419 Scams are as follows:

You can read more about this type of scam on the following pages:

www.joewein.net has comprehensive lists of names, e-mail addresses, IP addresses, ISP's, phone numbers, domains and company names used by 419 scammers.

Below are links to copies of typical 419 scam e-mails. Note that the original formatting of the e-mails were preserved and this is more or less how they look when you open them. We [DELETED] business names, personal names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers from the examples below for security reasons and because scammers often use different information with each scam e-mail. This is also done to protect the names of individuals and legitimate businesses abused by scammers in these e-mails.

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