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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Yi Kwan" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 09:42:00 -0000
I am Mr. Yi Kwan a transfer supervisor on investment in Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Kong. I have a business suggestion for you.
In late 2004 our customer Abdul Hussein Khazal Al Basri who was a journalist with al hurra channels and also business man made a numbered cash lodgement for 12 months, with a value of Eighteen millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch.
We have sent him several letters and emails before and after the maturity. We later find out that the journalist and his three months old only son had been killed during the war as they left their house in Basra.
On investigation it was revealed that Abdul Hussein Khazal Al Basri did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his lodgement in my bank.So, Eighteen millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to the to the laws of my country at the expiration of 7 years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Abdul Hussein Khazal Al Basri so that you will be able to receive his funds.
Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in the ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you.