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.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Samuel Mark-King" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 01:44:43 +0700
Subject: Urgent Letter From Mr.Samuel Mark-King !!!
>From the Desk of:
With great pleasure Mr.Samuel Mark-King, working with a bank here in Bangkok-Thailand as a Manager. I am writing you in respect of a foreign customer (an Oil consultant/contractor with our National Oil & Liquidified Gas Sector) whom made a US$25M depository for an investment program that has remained dormant for years now. Hence, I have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this
On personal investigation, I discovered that the account holder died on December 2002 in the Ukrainian aircraft crash. I made further investigation and discovered that the customer died without making a WILL on the depository.
It may interest you to know that I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved to a local Bank account here, but can only be approved to a foreigner with an account since the money is in US Dollars. I have decided as a matter of urgency upon this discovery now seek your permission to have you stand as next of kin to the fund as No one has ever come forward to claim this fund. It may also interest you to know that I have secured from the probate an ORDER OF MADAMUS to locate any of deceased beneficiary. In accordance to Thailand Law, fund deposited for over a period of Six (6) years without claim will be reverted to the Government treasury,if nobody applies to claim this fund.
I will like you to provide immediately your full Names and Address, Date of Birth, Occupation, Tel & Fax Numbers so that an Attorney will be able to prepare the necessary documents and affidavit which will put you in place as the next of kin. The Attorney will draft and carry out the notarization of the WILL and also obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favour for the transfer.
At the successful conclusion of this business, your goodself shall be entitled to have 40% that is, USD$10M of the total money while I will have 55% that is USD$13.750M and 5% that is USD$1.250M for communications and other expenses. I am ready to invest a reasonable percentage of mine into any viable business you suggest as a joint partner. Your percentage will also be a source of upliftment.
You have absolutely nothing to LOSE in assisting me instead, you have so much to GAIN. Be rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us.
Your response is highly imperative as this is a TWO-man business deal transaction as I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction. I need your assistance and co-operation to this reality as I have done my Home-work and fine tune the best way to create you as the beneficiary while I would use my connection and money to secure almost all the paperwork for this transaction which will be done by the Attorney and my position as the Branch Manager guarantees the successful execution of this transaction with you as the beneficiary to this fund.and do know that this transaction required a very little financial efforts and assistance which both of us as partner will be financially involve and handle the cost of expenses.
I will appreciate your early reply for commencement of business. Contact me for acknowledgment by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and whereby you are not interested, please indicate in your reply so that I can seek for the assistance of someone else.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, I expect that you will not take undue advantage of the trust I Will bestow in you. I await your urgent response. Please should you are interested in this transaction, kindly reply and respond to me via this email adress.
Thanks with great regards.