Top 10 warning signs of a 419 or Nigerian Advanced-Fee Fraud Scam email
1. A promise to share or transfer millions of dollars to you for your help or participation. (Out of 5 billion people in the world you were singled out as this fortunate person, lucky you).
2. The e-mail or correspondence is marked “urgent,” “top secret” or “highly confidential” and demands you act immediately. (Time is commonly of the essence).
3. The sender claims to be an exiled Dignitary, Cabinet Member, General, CEO, CFO, lawyer, doctor or the heir of some other important person or top official to gain your confidence. (The Grifter usually uses a Hotmail, Yahoo, Netscape, Caramail or other such free and anonymous e-mail service to send you the message – not very Regal at all).
4. Claims to have obtained your e-mail address “during a personal research on the Internet” or from an unidentified “friend who was once on diplomatic mission.” (Yeah, we all know one of these individuals).
5. The proposal contains a seemingly unlikely situation, i.e. overpaid millions on a contract, royal money or assets frozen by a foreign government, an inheritence, or money, gold or diamonds that need to immediately be transfered or be lost forever.
6. Claims to have smuggled the funds, jewels or precious metals out of their native country in a “diplomatic package” or “consignment” unbeknownst to their unstable or corrupt government.
7. Seeks an “honest foreign partner” to help with them with their crisis situation. (As if none exist or can be found in their own country).
8. States they are working with an unidentfied “Security Company” or the “Central Bank of Nigeria” (who is a much a victim of the scam as the Mark, having received countless numbers of complaints).
9. Requests personal information from you, i.e. your full name, bank account information and routing numbers, home or business telephone and facsimile numbers, or a copy of your letterhead.
10. The solicitation or contact requires you to advance money “up front” to secure your participation in the transaction. (Hence, its nickname of “Advanced-Fee Fraud”).
Let common sense be your guide! If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
[This page courtesy of our friends at Next Web Security.]