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: "Mrs. Claudia Beaty" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 22:01:17 -0500
Subject: I SEEK FOR YOUR COOPERATION
My name is Mrs. Claudia Beaty; I work as an External Account Auditor for the United Overseas Bank (UOB) Sidney branch, Australia. I am conducting a standard process investigation in relation to matters involving a client of my bank. I have in my possession tentative evidence that you might be whom I seek. On routine audit check last week, I discovered an investment account that has been dormant for several years. The account belongs to a single holder with total amount of US$27.1 Million. The investor is now deceased-the exact time the account was last operated, I can confirm with certainty that the said investor died interstate and nominated no next of kin to his investment.
The essence of this communication is to request you to provide me information on three issues;
1- Are you aware of any relative/relation who shares your last name and whose last known contact address was in Australia years back?
2- Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by any relative of yours in Australia?
3- If your answers to the above questions are YES, we can help establish your eligibility to assume status of next of kin to the deceased. It is pertinent that you inform me at your earliest convenience whether or not you are familiar with the deceased client and your eligibility, so I can put an end to any inquiries surrounding this matter. You must appreciate that I am constrained from providing you with more detailed information.
If your answer to the above questions is NO, then I am of the settled conviction that using my insider leverage and working with you can secure the funds in the account for the both of us, instead of allowing it pass as an unclaimed fund for the Authorities to share themselves. Securing these funds is 100% possible as you bear the same LAST NAME to the late investor and can stand as his extended relative. This is exactly why I need your co-operation in this matter.
I have seized all relevant documents (Legal and Banking) that will facilitate my putting you forward as the claimant/beneficiary of the funds and ultimately transfer the money to any account nominated by you. Your SHARE for this claim will be 40% from the total fund for your co-operation. I shall however leave out the details of this transaction till I receive an affirmation of your desire to participate with me. Be assured that I am on top of the situation. There will be NO risk involved whatsoever if you agree to come on board.
This should be kept as UTMOST CONFIDENTIAL between us. I guarantee that the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and me from any breach of law.
To affirm your willingness and cooperation to my proposal please contact me through fax or email stating the followings:
(1) Full Name; (2) Telephone, Fax, and Mobile Numbers; (3) Postal Address:
Your prompt response will be highly appreciated.
Mrs. Claudia Beaty
Tel/Fax: 61 2 9475 4089