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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Hotmail, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Charles Remond <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 19:53:16 +0200
Subject: From Mr. Charles Remond, Reply
FROM MR. CHARLES REMOND
BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER
DIRECTOR AUDITING AND ACCOUNT SECTION
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT
GUARANTY TRUST BANKÂ LTD.
COTONOU-REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
I amÂ the director in charge of auditing and accounting section ofÂ GUARANTY TRUST BANK (GTB). COTONOU-REPUBLIC OF BENIN, with due respects and regard. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died mysteriously in (Plane Crash) on November 16 2000 and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development. Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was us$18.5M usd (Eighteen million Five hundred thousand united states dollars).
As it may interest you to know, I got your contact information through the internet website and after I prayed for GOD'S divine mercy, I decided to contact you over this enterprising transaction that both of us must benefits from this business of such magnitude without any problem.
Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bona fide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit yourself to this great business opportunity. In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant, we are not allowed to operate a foreign account it would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.
This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of oath to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account. May I at this point emphasize that this transaction is 100% risk free as I have made arrangements for a successful deal before contacting you.
On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 35% of the total sum as gratification,Â 60% for i and my colleague, while 5% will be for any kind of expenses. Please, you have been advised to keep top secret as I'm still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you. I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money into your account and ask me to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you.
I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible via telephone and also through email, stating your wish in this deal.
Mr. Charles Remond.
Â Reply to Email:email@example.comÂ
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