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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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. Zubir Abdul" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 07:07:08 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: TREAT AS CONFIDENTIAL.
I am Mr. Zubir Abdul, a member of Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Malaysia. EPF is charged with the responsibility of finding bank accounts in Malaysia belonging to Non-Malaysia indigenes, which have remained dormant since the establishment of the Employee Provident Fund.
Being a member of The EPF I discovered a dormant account with a credit balance of US$6,500,000 (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United State dollars) plus accumulated interest. The owner of this account was Mr. Andreas Schranner a German and a geologist by profession who died in AF4590 crash since 2000 along side with his entire family (wife Maria, their daughter Andrea Eich, her husband Christian, and their children Katharina 8, and Maximilian 10). Please log on here to see for your self. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
Â The amount was a contract payment made to him by PETRONAS an oil company based in Malaysia two years before his death. He died interstate without a [Heir/WILL], and no possible records for trace of heirs, the money is floating in the banks treasury unclaimed.
As a member of the EPF, my proposition is to present you to the bank as a relative/next-of-kin and beneficiary of the funds, so that the proceeds of this account could be paid to you and we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage, 45% for me, 45% for you, while 10% will be set aside for any expenses incurred in the transaction process.Â I will give you step by step details on receipt of your interest. Being a top executive at EPF, I have all secret details and necessary contacts for claim of the funds without any hitch. The funds are presently domiciled in the bank here in Malaysia on the directives of the Employees Provident Fund EPF awaiting submission of valid claims for disbursement.
Â All that is required is for you to provide me with your details for processing of the necessary legal and administrative claim documents for transfer of the funds in your name by the bank. We can share the funds and use in investment of our choice. Due to the sensitive nature of my job, I need a foreigner to HELP claim the funds. Kindly provide me with:
A. Your Full name:
B. Your residential Address:
C. Your direct telephone number:
I find myself privileged to have this information and this may be a great opportunity for a lifetime success without risks. Due to security reasons, reply first to my private email:Â firstname.lastname@example.org
This transaction is not a Childâs Play and should not be treated as such, if you are capable then reply, if not delete from your Inbox.
Mr. Zubir Abdul
Member (EPF Malaysia)