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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Clarence Lim" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 03:14:52 -0300
Subject: URGENT PLEASE
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship
with you. I got your contact from a computerize data following my effort
searching for a trustworthy person to assist me.
My name is Mr. Clarence Lim, I'm a Singaporean and a seasoned Banker with
Malaysia HSBC Bank (Malaysia office), am as well an account officer to a
deceased customer of our bank, we lost this customer in the tsunami
disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia.
http://asc-india.org/lib/20041226-sumatra.htm and his account of US$19.761
million with us have been unclaimed due to unavailability of next of
kin/relatives to claim his estate.
My late customer was awarded two different contracts with shell
Development Company here before his untimely demise on 26th December 2004
In accordance with the escheat laws in Malaysia as a kingdom, the board of
directors of the bank met forth night ago and resolved to turn the estate
of the deceased over to Government having waited for too long without the
deceased relatives/next of kin surfacing property and if this is done,
invariably, the funds will end up to become Government property and it is
as a result of this that am moved to contact you considering the fact that
you share almost the same name with the deceased.
In view of this, I am seeking your cooperation and understanding to stand
as the deceased next of kin to enable us claim the inheritance before the
period given by the bank elapse. If you are interested and in agreement
with me, get back to me quickly and I will send to you all our bank
contacts and the information you may need to proceed without coming to
Malaysia, and be rest assured that it is risk free project and the
proceedings will be shared 50% each once the fund are repatriated into
your account anywhere in the world.
Please reply immediately with your information including your telephone
number for easy communication and oral discussion.
I await your prompt response immediately.I can be reached on this
Mr. Clarence Lim.