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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Koh Beng Seng" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 16:23:21 +0200
Subject: Read and get back!!
Read and get back!!
I am Mr. KOH Beng Seng Independent Non-executive Director Chairman of Bank of China Ltd, Hong Kong.
An Iraqi named Abrahem Hussein Raheem,a business man made a numbered fixed deposit of Sixty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him, even during the war, Five years ago (2006). Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found out that Ahmed Sadoun Salih and his family had been killed during the war in Gunfire that hit their home at Mukaradeeb where his personal oil-well was.
After further investigation it was also discovered that Abrahem Hussein Raheem did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Sixty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration seven years six months the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
I want to assure you that this project is real, and one hundred percent risk free and does not relate to any breach of law or proceeds from drugs. It is a matter of necessity to contact you for assistance without any further investigations about your person, it is therefore necessary that you tell me a little about yourself, I hope no form of betrayal will be experienced in the course of our collaboration, I must give you my trust because this transaction is no joke and such opportunity comes once in a life time.
My proposal to you is that I prepared to front you as the sole beneficiary of my deceased client so that i can instruct BANK OF CHINA to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation or business partner. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you in half fifty percentage. If interested do send me your full names, current home address, phone number, your occupation to this email account
Your earliest reply will be appreciated.
Mr. KOH Beng Seng,
Independent Non-Executive Director
Chairman of the Risk Committee, Hong Kong.