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:
- "million united states 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "william mark" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 16:48:15 +0100
Subject: Contact me now.
Am William Mark , Business Relations Manager for the Royal bank Of Scotland(RBS) in
Glasgow,Scotland . I am getting in touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased
client with similar last name and an investment placed under our banks management.
I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and
respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail. I
contact you independently and no one is informed of this communication.
In 2000, the subject matter, an American investor came to our bank to engage in
business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a
financial portfolio of $8.35 million United States dollars, which he wished to have us
invest on his behalf.
Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive
margins for our first months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at
this point at over 10 million United States Dollars. In mid 2002, he instructed that
the principal sum (8.35M) be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment
requiring cash payments in London. We got in touch with a specialist bank in United
Kingdom,Natwest Bank Plc (NWB)London,United Kingdom who agreed to receive this money
for a fee and make cash available . However Natwest Bank Plc got in touch with us last
year that this money has not been claimed. On further enquiries we found out that the
American investor was involved in an accident in Mainland Scoltland, which means he
died intestate. He has no next of kin and the reason I am writing you is because you
share the same last name.
What I propose is that since I have exclusive access to his file, you will be made the
beneficiary of these funds. Natwest Bank Plc will contact you informing you that money
has been willed to you. On verification, which will be the details I make available to
Royal Bank Of Scotland(RBS) and Natwest Bank Plc (NWB) will be instructed to make
payments to you after all the necessary verification and application is done. You do
not have to have known the American investor. I know this might be a bit heavy for you
but please trust me on this. For all your troubles I propose that we split the money in
half. In the banking circle this happens every time. The other option is that the money
will revert back to the state.(Treasury)
This is a lifetime opportunity for us. I hold the KEY to these funds, and as a British
National we see so much cash and funds being re-assigned daily. I would want us to keep
communication for now strictly by the email below.
I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches
never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my
private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of one accord, we
should act swiftly on this. Please get back to me immediately via the email below.
I await your response.