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)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Xiyang DENG" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 15:33:02 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: CONTACT XIYANG
>From the Desk of Deng Xi Yang
Nanyang Commercial Bank
I am Mr. Deng Xi Yang, Principal Assurance Manager for the Nanyang
Commercial Bank in Hong Kong. I am getting in touch with you regarding the
estate of our Late client 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, Our Late
client came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private
banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of
Eighteen Million, Five Hundred United States dollars only (US$18.5M),
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 in our first months of operation, the accrued
profit and interest stood at this point at over US$10M. In mid 2006, he
instructed that the principal sum (US$18.5M) be liquidated because he
needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in Hong Kong.
We got in touch with a specialist bank in Hong Kong the Guangdong
Development Bank (GDB) who agreed to receive this money for a fee and make
cash available to our Late Client. However Guangdong Development Bank got
in touch with us last year that this money has not been claimed. On
further enquiries we found out that he was involved in an accident, which
means he died intestate. He has no next of kin and the reason I am writing
you is because you bear the same
Last name with Our Late Client.
What I propose is that since I have exclusive access to his file, you will
be made the beneficiary of these funds. After making you the next of kin
of this fund first in the Nanyang Commercial Bank.On verifications, which
will be subject to details I make available to my bank, my Bank will
release the funds to you after all necessary verification/application has
been processed in accordance to Hong Kong Inheritance Laws.
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 these ratios which
I think should be acceptable by you; 40% for me, 40% for you while the
balance 20% would be shared among various charity Organizations around the
world. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of my country at
the expiration four 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 our late client so that you will be able to
receive his funds.
I want you to know that this is a lifetime opportunity for us because as
the saying goes Opportunity comes but once in a life time hence we have
to make use of it. I hold the KEY to these funds, and as a Chinese
National we see so much funds been re-assigned/labeled un-claimed daily. I
will make further details available to you when I hear back from you.
Please do not betray my CONFIDENCE. If we can be of one accord, we should
act swiftly on this. Do pardon my writing mistakes and kindly get back to
me if you are interested via my private Email and Fax: +852-3014-1829
I await your response.
Mr. Deng Xi Yang.