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)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Kamat Lim" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 13:50:01 +0700
Subject: I WISHED,I CAN CONTACT A RELIABLE AND TRUST WORTHY PARTNER,
I know this mail will come to you as a surprise because you don't know me,but knowing somebody starts in a day. However, I have gone through your business profile and I decided to contact you in good faith, with utmost assurance that you will never regret giving your attention to this mail. My name is Mr.Kamat Lim.I am the Director in charge of audit and account unit department with a Bank here in Asia. you will know me more as we go on.
In December 2004 a foreign Customer of our bank died with his little family in tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia. Click on this link for your reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake
The huge deposit he made in our bank early 2003 has been dormant and unclaimed due to unavailability of a next of kin to claim the deposit in my Bank. In accordance with the laws in this country, the deposit will be transferred to the Government treasury account if nobody comes to claim the deposit as his next of kin.
I am his account officer and I know he have no next of kin. I also know the source of the fund he deposited in my bank.As I said, I am the account officer to the deceased customer and I have the right to approve next of kin to my bank. As result of that, I want to present you to my bank as the official next Of Kin because you share almost the same name with him. so I want to present you to my bank so that my bank can transfer the money to you, then we proceed for the sharing.
I want to work with you on it. The amount involve is US$13,000,000.00 (Thirteen Million United State Dollars). plus the interest-rate since 2003. Everything will be 100% risk free and I will tell you how everything will be executed in my next mail if your interested to achieve this success with me.
I hope to read from you immediately.