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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- "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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: christ kamba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 01:58:29 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Mr.Christ Kamba
I choose to reach you through this medium because it is the fastest and most reliable way of communication, as I wish to solicit for your urgent assistance in what i strongly believe will be of great benefit to both of us. I am Mr.Christ Kamba,an Accounts Manager with a Bank here in Cote D' Ivoire also known as "Ivory Coast.
The issue I am presenting to you is a case of one of my late customer,a businessman from Thailand who died leaving an unclaimed funds with my bank.
In the year 2003, my late customer made a fixed deposit here in my bank totaling $5,000,000,(Five Million Dollars) which was due to be collected in 2008 after 4 years maturity with accrued dividends.
On my yearly appraisal of my customers at the turn of every year, I discovered that this fixed deposit remained overdue for retrieval. I had put up series of mails and bank notifications to him which were sent back uncollected.
It was a year ago that i discovered that he passed on along with his wife and only child through 2004 Indian ocean Tsunami while resorting at Khao Lak in Thailand. Since learning of his death , I have managed his account expecting any of his extended relatives to come forward to claim his money but all attempts to trace his relatives over the years has been fruitless since he did not declare any of his relatives information in his banking records with us.
Added to this, professional ethics obligates us to act with extreme confidentiality when dealing with clients accounts of this type. According to my country "Cote D' Ivoire" banking law, the money will be bequeathed to the government if it remains unclaimed by a certain period which is almost near.
However, I don't belong to that school of thought which proposes that the fortunes of unlucky people be given to the government and I am fully convinced that no one would turn up to execute the letter of administration to claim his funds before this short time.
Hence,I decided to contact you to come in as the next of kin/Business partner to my late customer so that the funds totaling $5,000,000, million (Five Million United States Dollars) can then be transferred to your nominated bank account in your country within 7 working days after you must have filed in your claims transfer application to the bank.
I will prepare every operation that will assist you to claim the funds as the next of kin/confidential business partner and everything will be left between you and me.
The share would be 50/50 or better we can still map out 5% for any expenses. Again, I feel that you may be apprehensive and consider this amount too big for you to defend. It does not matter, as there are documents to back it up.
This transaction is risk free and as the most senior account manager with the bank, be rest assured that all documents to enable you get this fund as the ne xt of kin will be carefully worked out by me.
Do not be bothered that you are not related in any way to my late customer as I am in position to affix your name as the next of kin.
Kindly send your reply enclosing your Full Names, Contact Address and Phone Number to me for confidentiality, to enable me talk to you before I send you the certificate of deposit and other relevant information relating to this fund transfer.
I need not emphasize the confidentiality of this issue and I therefore appeal to you not discuss this request with anybody, even if you decline to take full advantage of this great and urgent opportunity in my bank.
I look forward to your quick reply by email.