fighting spam and scams on the Internet
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.
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Okonji Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 15:46:23 +0000
Subject: From: Dr.Okonji Williams
From: Dr.Okonji Williams,
Manager, Credit and Foreign Bills,
Zenith International Bank Limited,
My name is Dr. Okonji Williams, the manager Credit and Foreign Bills of
Zenith International Bank Limited of Nigeria.
I am writing in respect of foreign customer of my bank with account number
14-255-2004/zib/t who died in a plane crash (Ethiopian Airline 961) with
other passengers abroad.
Since the death of this customer, I personally have watched with keen
interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has
come to claim his funds of US$15.5m (Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars) which has been with my bank for a very long time.
On this note I decided to seek for whose name shall be used as the next of
kin as no one has come up to be the next of kin. In view of this I got your
contact through my country's foreign trade mission after I was convinced by
providence that your name could be used as the next of kin.
The request of the foreigner as a next of kin in this business is
occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Nigerian
cannot stand as the next of kin to a foreigner.
I agreed that 30% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner in
respect of providing a new bank account or we can use your old account
information, while the rest will be for me, thereafter, I will visit your
country for disbursement as I am almost due for retirement.
Therefore, to facilitate the immediate transfer of this fund to your account
as arranged, you must apply first to the bank as a relation to the deceased
indicating your private telephone number, and fax number for easy
communication and location where the money will be remitted. Upon the
receipt of your reply, I will send you by fax or e-mail the application and
the next step to take.
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch-free
and that you should not entertain any fear as the whole required arrangement
has been made for the transfer.
You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter.
Trusting to hear from you.
Dr. Okonji Williams.
Please reply here: firstname.lastname@example.org