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:
- "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)
- "million us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Stephen Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 17:56:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Capital Management.
RE: TRANSFER OF US$113,000,000.00 [One Hundred and Thirteen Million United States Dollars Only].
My name is Stephen Smith; I am the operational manager in account management section in charge of credit and foreign bills of one of the prime banks here in South Africa. There is an account opened in this bank in 2000 by this great late diamond and oil magnate that died with his family on the 18th day of July 2003 on a Fatal Auto-Accident leaving no beneficiary to the account and no other person knows about this account. Since his death I personally have watched with keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds and no other person knows about this account or anything concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and until his death he was the manager of his company.
The total amount involved is $113,000.000.00 USD. [One Hundred and Thirteen Million United States Dollar Only], we wish to start the first transfer with $13,000.000.00 [Thirteen Million US Dollars Only] and upon successful transaction without any disappointment from your side; we shall re-apply for the transfer of the remaining balance to your account.
I have secretly discussed this matter with the manager of the bank who I must involve in order to have a smooth and a successful transfer of these funds to any foreign bank account, which you are going to nominate for the transfer. On this note, I want you to act as the foreign beneficiary of these funds from the deceased by providing your bank account where these funds will be transferred for immediate investment on any viable project as no one has come up to be the next of kin.
The banking ethics here does not allow such money to stay more than 8 years without claim hence the money will be recalled to the government treasury as unclaimed after this long period of dormancy.
At the conclusion of the transfer 65% of these funds will be for me, I will give you 20% of the total transfer sum, 10% for charity both in Africa and in your country while the remaining 5% will be set aside to settle expenses both parties might incur during the transfer process.
Upon the receipt of your reply, I will send to you detailed information about the transaction. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is 100% risk and trouble free and that you should not entertain any fear as all modalities for funds transfer can be finalized within 7 to 9 banking days, after you apply to the bank as the beneficiary of these funds from the deceased.
When you receive this letter, kindly send me e-mail or you can fax me. You should also include your private fax and phone numbers for easy and safe communication.
Most confidential fax; +27-865580927;
Contact me urgently for further detail.
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