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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "industrial and commercial bank of china" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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. Edward Kong" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 06:01:19 -0400
Subject: From the Desk of Mr. Edward Kong
>From the Desk of Mr. Edward Kong
Vice President & Branch Manager:
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NA
39-02 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11354, USA
I am Mr. Edward Kong, the Vice President and Branch Manager of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA), Flushing Branch Flushing New York, USA. I write to seek your consent to carry out a transaction that would be highly beneficial to both of us. I know you may be wondering why I am contacting you for this despite all the friends and relations that I have but I decided to do this with an unknown person to avoid any form of blackmail in the future. Mr. Alvin Peter Kappelmann Jr was an account holder with my bank. I have been his account officer for 9 years before his death. He died during the World Trade Centre bombing in September 11 2001. Please confirm from this site:
Since his death, the management of my bank has made series of efforts to locate his family but all efforts were proved abortive. I also carried out series of research to find his family but it was confirmed that his mother who was the only surviving member of the family died at the hearing of her sons death. He was already divorced before his death and due to this fact; no one was able to claim the fund he deposited in my bank legally because there was no will attached to it. He had a secret dollar account with my bank worthies the sum of $58,200,000.00 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with an accrue interest agreement of 6.7%, which have been for the past 9 years.
My purpose of contacting you now is this:
My bank during the last executive board meeting resolved that if by the end of this year and there is no beneficiary to the said account, the account will be confiscated and the fund sent to the bank treasury and this is where I am interested in and wants you to come in:
I want you to come in as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary to this account. I have all the titled documents to back your claim and as the Vice President and Manager of this branch, it is in my power to carry out any form of verification on the beneficiary of the said fund and process the fund wire without any problem. Be informed that it is legal, 100% risk free as all the titled documents will be changed to your name, and the fund wired to any bank account you wish to have it wired to.
Please note that I am willing to let you have 40% of the total sum while you give me 60% when the fund finally gets to your nominated bank account. Also, note that I am willing to go extra mile to make this a success because if anything goes wrong, then I stand the risk of losing my job and even go to jail for trying to carry out such transaction. This is why I am contacting you so that we can put heads together and take care of this transaction within now and the next 15days.
Kindly get back to me immediately at (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I will advice you on how this will be carried out.
Mr. Edward Kong
Vice President & Branch Manager of ICBC USA