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:
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "sammy kwok" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:00:21 -0700
Subject: MUST READ!!!
Bank Of East Asia USA
Temple City Branch
5773 Rosemead Boulevard,
Temple City, CA 91780, USA
I chose to reach you through (Internet) because it is the fastest, surest and most secured medium of communication. However, this correspondence is un-official but private, and it should be treated as such. I also guarantee you that this is sure, secured deal (transaction) and would be successfully done.
I am Sammy Kwok of The Bank of East Asia USA, Temple City Branch California. Reason of my contact is based on Trust and confidentiality that must be attached to below transaction.
The Management and Legal department of our bank recently recommended that the account of MR. DAVID LAWRENCE ANGELL, who was one of my branch depositors, been declared Dormant, confiscated and the depositor's fund sent to the Bank Treasury according to American Banking and financial law.
Mr. David Lawrence Angell and the wife died in world trade center as a victim of the September 11, 2001 incident that befell the United States of America. The bank has made series of efforts to contact any of the relatives to claim this money but there is still no success.
MR. DAVID LAWRENCE ANGELL is an account holder in my branch; he owns a dollar account, with the sum of 58.2M (Fifty Eight Million, two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) deposited in his Secret account with my branch. In fact, since his death, no next of kin of the account holder nor any relative of him has shown up for the claim, this is because he has the account as a secret account thus he kept all the documents for the deposit in my branch. The wife whom he signed in as his next of kin died with him on that unfaithful sad day.
This is where i am interested and where i want you to come in. You would come in as the relation of the deceased and with my position, I will provide you the relevant documents and contacts to file the application and then effect the approvals for the transfer of the funds. I will be the one to provide the vital documents for the claims of the money and then advise you exactly on how we should handle it.
Please include your telephone/ fax number/ Home address when replying this mail and I will give you more information as soon as you indicate your willingness to assist in this transaction. I will use my positions to get all internal documentations to back up the claims. Do not be bothered that you are not related in any way to him as I am in position to affix your name as the next of kin. The whole Procedures will last only 9 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully without trace even in the future. After the transfer of the money we shall share the funds in 60:40, which is I will have 60% while you will have 40%.
Hope to hear from you as soon as possible.
Bank Of East Asia USA
Temple City Branch