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:
- "million 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "KIM WILLIAMS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:46:09 +0200
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION
With due respect and with God all thing were possible that is why I call for help to please Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you.
I am Master Kim Williams the only child of late Mr. Steven Williams, My father was a very wealthy crued oil merchant in Nigeria, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on the first of December 2010 on their outing for a business trip.
My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father on the First of December 2010 in a private hospital here in Nigeria he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Five Million United State Dollars. US (5m) left in fixed /suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Nigeria that he used my name as his only child for the next of Kin in Depositing
of the money.
He told me that I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money into and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management.
I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To provide a bank account in which this money would be transferred into
(2) To be my guardian so that the bank will grant the transfer since I am
only 17 yrs of age
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my
education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
Moreover, I am willing to offer you 45% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund into your
nominated account overseas.
All the necessary arrangement has been made at the bank where my late father deposited this money and the Director of the bank told me that as soon as an account of my choice is forwarded to their bank that they will transfer this fund into my destination.
Please reply immediately for us to proceed in this transaction which I believed that in few days you shall call me for good news that you have confirm my money in an account which you will provide to the bank where my inheritance was deposited into.
Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believed that this transaction would be concluded within three (3) days you signify
interest to assist me.
Anticipating hearing from you immediately,
Thanks and God bless you.
Master Kim Williams.