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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045774810 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Jos Nijhuis" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 16:22:20 +0100 (CET)
Subject: # SORRY FOR INFRIGING ON YOUR PRIVACY#
Greetings to you,
My apologies that I had to send you this email without any prior
relationship between us; my name is Mr.Jos Nijhuis,President of the
Management Board of Schiphol Group,before that,I was chairman of the
Executive Board of PWC Netherlands and also a member of the Supervisory
Committee of Stichting Kids Moving the World, board member of Stichting
Common Purpose, member of the Supervisory Committee of the National
Ballet and Non Executive Board Member of Aeroports de Paris and was then
appointed into the Board of Sns Bank in the Netherlands for the first time
on 15 April 2009 and will be expected to resign latest at the first AGM
after 15 April 2013.
I have however contacted you with the hope of presenting you as the
beneficiary (next of kin) to a late client in one of the Branches of the
Bank in the Netherlands whose Bonded Depository Account with the Bank in
the Netherlands worth Fourteen Million Seven Hundred Thousand Euros has
remain unclaimed, I figured out that since you share a common name with
him, I decided to Contact you with this privileged information regarding
his account, this is as a result of the fact that the late client has
nobody left to claim this fund.
If such an account is not claimed or renewed to commence another tenure of
7years, a 6months period of grace is granted to the account holder or his
designated beneficiary, a probate order of Mandamus is then issued to
provide such a beneficiary whereby failure to do so at the end of it?s
expiration the funds will be quarantined and shared amongst the Directors
of the Bank at the end of the fiscal year.
I bore in mind your personality and reputation of which the same apply to
me, on this light I then deemed it fit to assure you that the Funds will
be cleared in accordance with the firm's operational procedures to ensure
the transaction success without any breach of the law.
One thing is certain, with the relevant legal documents that I will get to
back you up, the funds will be approved for onward transfer to you.
If this is okay with you then get back to me so that I give you more details.
Let it be known to you that this 14,700,000.00 Euros will be shared in the
ratio of 70% for me and 30% for you.
I will want you to get back to me as soon as possible if you are willing
to assist in getting these funds, or you can give me a call on my London
line below which I acquired mainly for this purpose as I am presently
based in the UK.