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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Chung" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 04:45:38 -0800
Subject: From Guang
I am Guang Chung, Principal Assurance manager for the Huxia Bank in China. I am contacting you in regards to an issue of great importance and an investment placed under our banks management 7 years ago. 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; 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 Hong Kong and China. We got in touch with a specialist bank in China, the Guangdong Development Bank (GDB) who agreed to receive this money for a fee and make cash available. 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 the subject matter was involved in an accident in Mainland China, which means he died intestate. He has no next of kin.
What I propose is that since I have exclusive access to his file, you will be made the beneficiary of these funds. My bank will contact you informing you that money has been willed to you. On verification, which will be the details I make available to my bank, my bank will instruct GDB to make payments to you. You do not have to have known him. 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. Nobody is getting hurt; this is a lifetime opportunity for us. I hold the KEY to these funds, and as a Chinese National we see so much cash and funds being re-assigned daily. I would want us to keep communication for now strictly by email. Please, again, note I am a family man; I have a wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to the consequences, but I know wi
thin me that nothing ventured is
I await your response.