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:
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Bruno Campbell." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 12:45:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Partnership Request.
From: Bruno Campbell
Santander Bank, UK
I am Mr. Bruno Campbell, the Auditor General, Santander Bank, UK. In the course of my
auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account, which was opened in 1990 at Abbey
National Bank before it was bought over by Santander Group of which I am the auditor,
belonging to a dead foreigner who died in 1999. Every effort made to track any member of
his family or next of kin has since failed; hence I got in contact with you to stand as his
next of kin since you bear the same last name. He died leaving no heir or a will.
My intention is to transfer this sum of $5.5M in the aforementioned account to a safe
account overseas. I am therefore proposing that you quietly partner with me and provide an
account or set up a new one that will serve the purpose of receiving this fund. For your
assistance in this venture, I am ready to part with a good percentage of the entire funds.
We will share the funds in the proportion of 40% for you, 40% for me and 20% donated to
Charitable Organizations. After going through the deceased person's records and files, I
(1) No one has operated this account since 1999.
(2) He died without an heir; hence the money has been floating.
(3) No other person knows about this account and there was no known beneficiary.
If I do not remit this money urgently, it would be forfeited and subsequently converted to
company's funds, which will benefit only the directors of my firm. This money can be
approved to you legally as with all the necessary documentary approvals in your name.
However, you would be required to show some proof of claim, which I will provide you with
and also guide you on how to make your applications.
Please do give me a reply so that I can send you detailed information on the modalities of
my proposition. I completely trust you to keep this proposition absolutely confidential.
I look forward to your prompt response.
Mr. Bruno Campbell.