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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: AAK AAK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2017 12:36:14 +0000
Subject: Urgent business proposal
Urgent business proposal
My name is Thomas Johnson, An Accountant officer of African Development Bank South-Africa, I have an interesting business proposal for you that based on outstanding which will be of immense benefit to both of us, this business deal is an abandoned sum of USD$18.5million Dollars that belong to one of South Africa Government foreign road Contractor Late William Bush an American citizen but base here in South-Africa,
He collapsed and died past 7 years in our office while depositing money in his account, Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives that will come up for the claim of his funds but nobody has showed up, Ive personally tried to locate any member of his family but have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for past 7 years, I have also checked the deposited documents and discovered that he did not declare any next of kin on the deposit.
And this funds can only inherit by any foreigner who will appear as the next Of kin, just as The Management of our bank has instructed me to look for the next of kin or they will convert the funds into the Government Treasury Account as unclaimed funds and the funds will be wasted, therefore I cannot claim these funds without presenting a foreigner name as next of kin,
This is the reason why I contacted you to seek your consent to present your name as the next of kin so that the funds will be release to you direct to your account, we will employ the service of an Attorney who will secure all necessary legal documents that will be use to back up this claim in your name as the legitimate next of kin to the late depositor William Bush then the bank will release the funds to you as the rightful beneficiary.
I need your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through, If you are interested kindly get back to me for quick respond only on this Email:( email@example.com )