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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Daniel Woodlich <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 15:04:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Please Treat.
Greetings, I hope all is well and my email meets you in good health? My name is Daniel Woodlich the Manger of a top rated security company in Amsterdam. I found your name in people search and took a chance to contact you. Amongst out vast clientele base are banks and high income generating clients with large sums of money deposited with us. We pick up and deliver cash to banks via means of highly trained and professional security personal. Amongst our other services are profit yielding cash deposits for a fixed term period. We deal only in cash.
Having said this I have a have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you. In December, 2007, an Iraqi Oil Consultant/contractor Mr. Amjad Muhktar made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for Twenty-Four calendar months, valued at US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Dollars)in cash in my security firm.
Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After some months, we sent a reminder and finally on investigation we discovered from his contract employers, that Mr. Amjad Muhktar had passed away.
On further investigation, we also discovered that he died without naming a next of kin for us to contact and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. Mr. Amjad Muhktar did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Deposit paperwork in my firm. No one has ever come forward to claim it. This sum of US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Dollars) is still sitting in my firm and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you to stand in as the next of kin to Mr. Amjad Muhktar and in doing this I can slot your name in as his next of kin and have you come in person to our office to sign the relevant papers and claim the funds. To achieve this I will need you to provide your full names and address so that an Attorney will prepare the necessary documents and also a valid for of identification.
This is a lifetime opportunity for us. I am a family man; I have a wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to the consequences,but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained.This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. For security reasons, contact me via email as I do intend to keep this transaction as discreet as possible and would advice you do same.