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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.Evgeny Kvashinskiy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 17:52:34 -0700
Subject: Investment Possibility/Proposal, Please Read and Reply
Please do not think this is one of those scam or junk mails you receive in your mailbox/fax machine, which I receive also, but I plead for your tolerance.
I am Mr.Evgeny Kvashinskiy Auditing department YUKOS OIL Branch office London and the Personal Treasurer to Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky the President/Chief Executive Officer of the following companies YUKOS OIL (Russian Most Largest Oil Company) and Menatep SBP Bank (A well Reputable Financial Institution with its Branches worldwide). He was considered as the most powerful of the Russian business oligarchs, and the 16th wealthiest man in the world.
Firstly, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and TOP SECRET, I am sure and have confidence of your ability and reliability to prosecute this entire transaction. The document of the above funds was handed over to me for payment of an American oil merchant.
Already my boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky has deposited the funds with his bank Menatep SBP Bank Russia and the final transfer is expected to be carried out from my office here in London. While I was on the process of transferring the funds, My Boss was arrested for his involvement on alleged tax evasion. Now I want to transfer to overseas account ($800,000,000.00) Eighty Million Hundred USD.) from the bank here in London were the funds is currently help pending transfer.
I want to ask you, If you are not capable to quietly look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new Bank a/c immediately to receive this money, even an empty account can serve to receive this money, as long as you will remain honest to me till the end for this important business trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in the future.
No other person knows about this funds or anything concerning it. Please View Website to confirm true life story of Mikhail Khodorkovsky: http://www.letthemgonow.org/? gclid=CPboqYKSlJECFQlhMAodzGgMfA OR http://www.zimbio.com/Mikhail+Khodorkovsky
The funds have no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that the account is a secret account. The total amount involved is ($800,000,000.00) Eighty Hundred Million USD and we wish to transfer this money into a safe foreigners account abroad.
But I don't know any foreigner; I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved me as a worker but to a foreigner who has information about the account, which I shall give to you upon your positive response.
I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business, you are the first and the only person that I am contacting for this business, so please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take urgently.
I need your strong assurance that you will never let us down, me and a key bank official who is deeply involved with me in this business.
I guarantee you that this transaction will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law the bank official will destroy all documents of the transaction immediately you receive this money leaving no trace to any place.
I will use my position and influence to obtain all legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance from the relevant ministries and foreign exchange departments.
At the conclusion of this business. I am ready to offer you 30% of the total funds.
I look forward to hear from you.