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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Michael Thompson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 22:10:27 +0200
I am Mr. Michael Thompson, a British Banker, working with Standard Chartered Bank of Malaysia . on June 6, 2001,a foreign Oil consultant/contractor with Petronas Oil Corporation of Malaysia, Mr. Miguel Javier Rodriguez made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at (Nine Million Three Hundred thousand Dollars) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, the Crude Oil Export Corporation that Mr. Miguel Javier Rodriguez died from an automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless.
I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Miguel Javier Rodriguez did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork . This sum of (Nine Million Two Hundred thousand Dollars) is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it.
my proposition is to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you are a foreigner so that the proceeds of the account valued at U.S$9.3 million can be paid to you for both of us to share the funds; 60% to me and 40% to you.
if you are interested in this transaction I will give to you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully. I decided to find someone that is real and not imaginary.
I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to backup the claim. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of the law .
if you are interested, kindly get in touch with me through this my e-mail to enable us discuss further about the plan.
Thanks for your kind co-operation
Mr. Michael Thompson