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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Douglas McDougall" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:11:59 -0000
Subject: Re: Fund For Investment
I wish to seek your assistance for the transfer of a fixed depository made by a foreign investor for an investment program that has remained dormant for years now. It was discovered that the account holder died without making a WILL on the depository and upon my further curious investigation, the deceased was a member of a government agency in charge of awarding of contracts. This project will be of immense benefit to both of us. Although this may be hard for you to believe, but we stand to gain (USD19,500,000.00) in a matter of days. Please grant me the benefit of doubt and hear me out.
This money cannot be approved to a local bank account holder, but can only be approved to a foreigner. If you will stand as Investor/beneficiary to the fund, it will be shared 50%/50%, as this is a TWO-men business transaction.
I shall 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 of the fund. My position as investment and Wealth manager will be used to advance this deal.
I have employed the service of an Attorney who will secure all necessary legal documents that will be used to back up this claim. All the attorney need to do is to fill in your names to the documents and legalize it in the Court here to prove you as the legitimate next of kin then the bank will release the funds to you as the rightful beneficiary in line with due process Act..
This is a fair deal without any risk attached either on your part or on my part as long as we comply with the laws governing the claiming of funds in our establishment. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us sees this deal through, and with my position in the bank as investment and Wealth manager, I will do every thing possible to protect your interest and to make sure that everything workout successfully.
If you are interested in this deal, kindly send me your complete information, your full names and address, Your telephone and Cell phone so that the attorney will start processing the necessary paperwork that would facilitate the release of the funds to you 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 upon you.
I await your urgent response.
Thanks with great regards.
Mr. Douglas McDougall