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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Heng Yong"<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:00:59 -0800
Subject: READ CAREFULLY
My name is Mr.Heng Yong, I'm a Singaporean and a seasoned Banker with Malaysia HSBC Bank (Malaysia office), am as well an account officer to a deceased customer of our bank, we lost this customer in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia.
http://asc-india.org/lib/20041226-sumatra.htm and his account of US$30,761,000.00 million with us have been unclaimed due to unavailability of next of kin/relatives to claim his estate.
My late customer was awarded two different contracts with Shell Development Company here before his untimely demise on 26th December 2004 In accordance with the escheat laws in Malaysia as a kingdom, the board of directors of the bank met forth night ago and resolved to turn the estate of the deceased over to Government having waited for too long without the deceased relatives/next of kin surfacing property and if this is done, invariably, the funds will end up to become Government property and it is as a result of this that am moved to contact you considering the fact that you share almost the same name with the deceased.
In view of this, I am seeking your cooperation and understanding to stand as the deceased next of kin to enable us claim the inheritance before the period given by the bank elapse. If you are interested and in agreement with me, get back to me quickly and I will send to you all our bank contacts and the information you may need to proceed without coming to Malaysia, and be rest assured that it is risk free project and the proceedings will be shared 50% each once the fund are repatriated into your account anywhere in the world.
Please reply directly to my personal email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) immediately with your information including your telephone number for easy communication and oral discussion. I await your prompt response immediately.
NB: I HAVE TRIED CONTACTING YOU BEFORE NOW BUT IT SEEMS THE MAILS I SEND DONT GET TO YOU.PLEASE REPLY MY MAIL IF IT REACHES YOUR END.