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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Simeon Brown" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 19:45:02 +0100
Subject: Good Fortune
Good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. I would respectfully request that you keep the content of this mail confidential because of its nature and respect the integrity of this information. First of all I'll like to introduce myself and status, I am Mr.Simeon Brown, Chief Operations Officer of HSBC Bank London. I am contacting you concerning a deceased customer and a
financial portfolio of $8.5m United state dollars, which He placed under HSBC Bank managements two years ago for turn over on his behalf.
As the Chief Operations Officer of the private banking sector, I encouraged the deceased on his arrival to our bank on various growth of fund with prime ratings.The favored route in my advice to his was accessing data's on 6000 traditional stocks and bond managements.Based on my advise, attractive margins,acquired profit and interest stood at over $10m United state dollars,this margin was not the full potential of the fund but He desired low risk guaranteed returns on investment. Early 2007 my client asked that the money be liquidated because of an urgent investment requiring cash payments in United Kingdom, and that the liquidated fund be deposited in CORPORATE SECURITIES CO, a security consulting firm based in London who are specialist private firm that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products and undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash. This order was given to me in anticipation of his arriv
al from United States later that
existence of the deposit, for as far as HSBC Bank is concerned the transaction with our late client concluded when I sent the fund to the security firm, all outstanding interactions in relation to the file are just customer service and due process. The security firm has no single idea of what the history or nature of the deposit is, they await
instructions to release the deposit to any party that I nominate as the beneficiary of the fund. I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct Corporate Securities Co. to release the deposit to you as the NEXT OF KIN. Kindly let me know your true interest
in this pending transaction so as to ascertain the proceeds, and I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within few days. I implore you to discard this mail if you find no interest in this transaction, and if my offer is of no appeal to you, please don't be
vindictive and destructive just delete this message and forget I ever contacted you.Finally, I am sending you this mail without a measure of fear as to what the consequences are, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never comes in 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 plan a meeting soon.
I await your response.