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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the consignment" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "consignment " (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Phillip Shaw." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 01:35:13 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend....,
I am Phillip Shaw, Principal Assurance Manager For the HSBC.I am getting in touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with similar names and an investment placed under our Bank's management 8years ago.I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail. I contact you independently and no one is informed of this communication. In 2000, the subject matter, names similar to yours came to our Bank to engage in business discussions with our Private Banking Division.
He informed us that he had a Financial Portfolio of $8.5million United States Dollars, which he wished to; have us invest on his behalf.Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our first month of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at this point at over 10milion United States Dollars. In mid 2002, he instructed that the Principal Sum of ($8.5m) be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payment in Hong Kong. We got in touch with a Specialist Bank in Hong Kong the Dah Sing Bank (DSB) who agreed to receive this money for a fee and make cash available to him. However, Dah Sing Bank got in touch with us last year that this money has not been claimed.
On further enquiries we found out that he was involved in an accident in Mainland China, which means he died intestate. He has no next of kin and the reason i am writing you this because you are namesakes.What i propose is that since i have exclusive access to his file, you will be made the Beneficiary of these funds. My Attorney who has been legally briefed will contact you on my behalf informing you that the money has been willed to you. On verification, which will be the details i make available to my Attorney.
My attorney through my Bank will instruct DSB to make payment to you through my attorney who shall request for raw cash with my backing and thereafter employ the services of private Diplomatic Courier to deliver same to your nominated address via Canada. Note that, in the eyes of the Customs and other related government authorities, the sealed consignment shall be labeled as 'Valuable and Perishable Goods? Presumably consisting of precious stones, paintings, treasured art works, gold and diamonds with all the statutory British levies and duties fully paid.
All the relevant legal papers backing the shipment/consignment shall be sent alongside the sealed consignment that can only be opened by the actual beneficiary after confirming a 4digit code number that would be given to you before the actual shipment. All the legal paper work shall confirm you as the legal and actual beneficiary.Be rest assured that by your assistance you shall not in anyway be contravening any rules that could put you and us in trouble now or in future as we have covered all the likely and unforeseeable loopholes that would jeopardise the smooth delivering of the consignment to your nominated doorstep.You shall be informed of any developmental progress from time to time.
You do not have to have known your namesake. I know this might be a bit heavy for you and sound more like a fairy tale but i can confidently and honestly tell you that this transaction is 100% real and risk-free and i humbly urge you to trust me on this as my word is my bond.I propose that we shall split the money in half. In the Banking circle such lucrative transactions happened every time with monies and deals exchanging hands. If this life time opportunity is not taken, such monies revert back to the state. I hold the KEYS to these funds and as a British National with so many Asian, European as well as American clients we see so much cash and funds being reassigned daily. I would want us to keep our communication for now strictly by emails until such a time you prove your absolute willingness to assist us. Given all the desired cooperation from your end, this mutually beneficial transaction shall be done within 7 working days from commencement as all the necessary legal !
paper work are already in place.Pl
This is the one truth i learnt from my numerous Private Banking clients. Do not betray my confidence and i do sincerely hope i can trust you as same shall be reciprocated. If we are in one accord, then act swiftly by reaching me on this email address
I await your response.
Mr. Phillip Shaw.