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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "HSBC BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:34:43 -0700
Subject: URGENT RESPONSES!!!
My name is Mr. Paul Lockett, I am a senior partner in the firm of Infinity Consultants "Private Investigators and Security Consultants". We are conducting a standard process investigation on behalf of "HSBC", the International Banking conglomerate.
This investigation involves a client who shares the same surname with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at "HSBC", the Private Banking arm of HSBC. The HSBC Private Banking client died in testate and nominated no successor in title over the investments made with the bank. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail private and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.
I contact you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.
You share similar details to the late fellow; I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct the firm to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you, that is, I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50. I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me,but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit. But on the other hand, you with the same very name as the depositor's would easily pass as the beneficiary with right to claim. I assure you that I could have the
deposit released to you within few days.
I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal.
You may not know this but people like myself who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run the whole private banking sector. I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only come ones in a lifetime. I cannot let this chance pass me by, for once, I have found myself in total control of my destiny. These chances won't pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities.
There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with me. I am the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Lets share the blessing. If you find yourself able to work with me, contact me through this same email account.
If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion.
I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of one accord, we should plan a meeting, soon.