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:
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Bill M. Kim" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 09:02:23 +0200
Subject: Re: Alexander Roland
I am Billy M. Kim (Mr.), an Chief Accountant of a Financial institutes here in UK and I crave your indulgence as I contact you in such a surprising manner and I want you to bear in mind that this is not a hoax but I respectfully insist you read this mail carefully as I am optimistic it will open door for unimaginable financial reward for both of us and believe that you will not let me down and we will work together to develop trust and confidence in this business.
After going through some old file in the records department, I discover that there is an account opened in the year 2000 belonging to the late Mr. Alexander Roland a foreigner and a miner at Kruger Gold Company. A geologist by profession and since 2005 nobody has operated the account following Mr. Alexander Roland's death in 2005.
After my further investigation I also discovered that Late Mr. Alexander Roland has no next of kin on this file. The account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proves to me as well that his company does not know anything about this account. Since then, no other person knows about this account, and the amount involved is USD$26.5 Million. I would like to get in partnership with you and then first transfer US$26.5 million into your overseas account as a foreigner because the Late Mr. Alexander Roland was a foreigner and any account that must be used must be a foreign account. And then join you in person for disbursement and investment opportunity which you will be an asset to it.
I am only contacting you because of your foreign status as this money cannot be approved to a local bank here, but can be approved to any foreign account because the money is in a foreign currency (USD dollars) and the owner of the account, Mr. Alexander Roland was a foreigner. Because of the need to involve a foreign account, I need your full co-operation to make this work because the management is ready to approve the payment to whoever has the correct information to this account, of which I will give you later, if you are able to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust according to my instruction and advice for our mutual benefits because such opportunity comes once in a bluemoon. I need a trustworthy person in this business because I don't want to make a mistake and I need your strong assurance, trust and reliability.
With my position now in the office and the influence of the top director of the Financial institutes, I will make sure that this money is transferred into any reliable account, which you can provide with the assurance that this money will be intact pending my physical arrival in your country for my sharing. I will destroy all the documents of the transaction immediately you receive this money, leaving no trace in any place to avoid any problem now and after the transaction has been completed.
I have the tendency to invest my own share of the money in your country in expectation to a sound management and a good capital returns according to your advice. Rest assured you stand no risk of any kind as the fund belong to us now, therefore after the eventual stage of the transfer of this fund, I am offering you a reasonable percentage as soon as the transaction is complete.
I strongly believe that associating with you to embark on this fund transfer and other business ventures will derive a huge success thereafter. I will use my position to effect approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance form from the ministries and foreign exchange department. I am counting on your sense of confidentiality, as it is my desire that you keep this to yourself and tell no one about this information.
Looking forward to your urgent respond via my private email address below for further information.
Billy M. Kim (Mr.)