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)
- "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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hou Kapril" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 08:05:24 -0700
Subject: Improtant notice
My name is Hou Kapril. I am the Chief Risk Officer, I'm also trained and work as an auditor for the Singapore Banking Corporation in Kingdom of Cambodia, working as part of a bigger team that covers the entire region. I had taken pain to find your contact using the deceased last name.
On routine audit check last year, I discovered some investment accounts that have been dormant for at least Fifteen years. All the accounts belong to a single/one account holder late Mr. Derek , with monies totaling Nine Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$9,200,000.00). Now banking regulation/legislation in Kingdom of Cambodia demand that I do notify the fiscal authorities after a statutory time span of Fifteen years when dormant accounts of this type are called in by the Kingdom of Cambodia Monetary Regulatory bodies.
The above set of facts underscores my reason of writing and proposing to you. My investigation of the said account reveals that the investor, a national of your country died in 2007 which was the exact time the account was last operated. I can confirm with certainty that the said investor died inter-state and no next of kin to his estate has been found or has come forward all these years.
I am of the settled conviction that using my insider leverage, working with you can secure the funds in the account for us instead of allowing it pass as unclaimed funds into the coffers of the Government of Kingdom of Cambodia. This is especially possible as you share the same Country of Origin with the said investor. This exactly is why I crave your participation and co-operation. I am seized with all relevant documents (legal and Banking) that will facilitate our putting you forward as the claimant/beneficiary of the funds and ultimately transfer the money to an account to be nominated by you.
Of course you shall be handsomely rewarded for your part in this transaction as the people I am working with (Colleagues) are prepared to allocate a 20% slice of the total funds for your efforts subject to negotiation.
I shall leave out the further details of this transaction till I receive an affirmation of your desire to participate. Be rest assured that I am on top of this situation all the time and there will be a no risk whatsoever if you elect to come on board. Needless to say, UTMOST CONFIDENTIALITY is of vital importance if we are to successfully reap the immense benefits of this transaction.
Contact me on the below written telephone number or email address.
I do expect your prompt response.