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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Kambiri <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 19:21:37 +0100 (BST)
Subject: THIS IS GREAT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY.
FROM MR ABEL KAMBIRI.
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
AFRICA DEVELOPMENT BANK(ADB) ANNEX
OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA-FASO. I am Mr Abel Sanou Kambiri the manager auditing and accounting department in African Development Bank.(ADB) Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso in West Africa.I discovered unclaimed sum of $10.5m us dollars in our bank which belonged to one of our late foreign customer who died with his entire family in Kenya plane crash on 21 July 2003.I discovered this while cross-checking the files of foreigners in my department. Since I discovered the unclaimed fund and about his death,I have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his fund because our bank cannot release the fund unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.Unfortunately I 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 now decided to make this business proposal to you.The request of a
foreigner as next of kin and beneficiary of the fund is because the foreigner will stand as next of kin to the deceased since nobody is coming for the fund. This is a genuine business,only that I cannot operate it alone without using a Foreigner who will stand as a beneficiary to the fund,that is why I decided to contact you in a good manner to assist me and also to share the benefit together with me.The banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after eight years,the money will be transferred into the bank treasury as unclaimed fund.You will be entitled to 45% of this money as foreign partner,since you provide an account for the claim,5 % will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 50% will be for me.There after I will visit your country for disbursement and sharing of the fund according to the percentages indicated. I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm
the money in your bank account and ask me to come down to your country.Please keep this proposal as a top secret as I still in service in the bank and intended to retire immediately the fund is transterred into your bank account.By indicating your interest all other necessary vital information will be send to you on how the business will be executed.Please let us get this fund transfer into your account.I look forward to receive your reply as soon as you receive this email. Yours faithfully,
Mr Abel Kambiri.