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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "search for a reliable person" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Augustine Dinga" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 21:03:49 +0200
Subject: Your immediate response is needed
Barrister Augustine Dinga
2nd Floor, Nedbank Place,
35 Sauer Street, Johannesburg
Republic of South Africa.
Direct Mobile: +27-834-515-403
I got your information while search for a reliable person who will assist me in a business proposal that will be of a great benefit we both and I have lay all the trust in you before I decided to disclose this confidential transaction to you.
I am Barrister Augustine Dinga, an Attorney at Law. I have an urgent and very profitable business proposition for you that should be handled with extreme confidentiality. I know this proposal will come to you as a surprise for the fact that we have not met before believing that transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive or worried but I can assure you that you will not regret been part of this mutual beneficial transaction.
SUBJECT: A deceased Client of mine Name withhold, A citizen of your Country whom here in shall be referred to as my client, made a numbered time Fixed Deposit for twelve calendar months valued at US$23.5Million Dollars (Twenty Three Million, Five Hundred thousand United States Dollars Only in a Financial and Security Company on January 12,2000.
My client was a Consultant, and contractor with the South Africa Solid Minerals Corporation (SSMC).Upon maturity the Financial and Security Company sent a routine notification in accordance with the Company policy to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month they sent a reminder and finally it was discovered from his contract employers South Africa Solid Minerals Corporation (SSMC) that My Client, his wife and two children died in the AF4590 France concord plane crash bound for New York in their plan for a world cruise on Monday 31 July, 2000.
On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a Will and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. I therefore made further investigations and discovered that my client did not declare any next of kin or relations in the Deposit paperwork with the Financial and Security Company.
This sum of US$23.5million i understand was kept in the Financial and Security Company for safekeeping to enable him have direct and immediate access to the funds for a contract that he intended to execute. No one will ever come forward to claim it and according to the Government Law as provided in section 129 sub 63(N), South African Banking Edit of 1961 at the expiration of 10 years the money will revert to the ownership of the South African Government, if nobody applies to claim the fund.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin and beneficiary of my deceased client as you bear the same last name so that the proceeds of this account valued at $23.5million can be paid to you, so we can share the amount on a mutually agreed percentage of 60% for me 40% for you.
All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin will be provided by me. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Your most urgent response will be highly appreciated to avoid making further contacts.
Barrister Augustine Dinga