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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "foreign remittance department" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Danjuma Ahmed" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:53:03 +0800
Subject: Re: PARTNERSHIP VENTURE
From: Mr. Danjuma Ahmed
Email address: email@example.com
Re: PARTNERSHIP VENTURE
I write to seek your co-operation as my foreign partner and your assistance to enable me to own properties and invest in the economy of your country. I apologize if this letter does not suit your personal or business ethics.
My name is Danjuma Ahmed, a senior staff in file keeping section of the foreign remittance department of Bank Simpanan Nasional, Malaysia. I am making this venture proposal to you in strict confidence. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of $6,500,000.00 US dollars, in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer Mr.Andreas Schranner who died along with his entire family in a plane crash. Crash Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting the next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that i decided to contact you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and i don't want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.
The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remains Unclaimed after ten years, the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of a foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and an Malaysia cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner.
If you will like to assist us as a partner then indicate your interest after which we shall both discuss the modalities and the sharing percentage. All other information to facilitate the remittance of the funds will be revealed to you in due course. If you are not interested, please also indicate so, so that it will enable me to contact other foreign partners who might be interested to work with me. I will appreciate if you could contact me through my direct email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A swift acknowledgment of the receipt of this letter and early establishment of position will be appreciated.
Thank you and God bless you.
Mr. Danjuma Ahmed.
Tel: +60146 391395