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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Van Brook" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 03:31:16 -0800
Subject: Hello From William!!
I am william van brook an employee of ING BANK branch here in Nederland. I have urgent and very confidential business proportion for you. I
got your contact from the World Trade Centre Online Web directory here in Netherlands.
In January 2009 a Consultant/Contractor Made a numbered time (fixed deposited) for twelve calendar months valued at (USD$2,500,000 million
United States Dollars) in a domiciliary account in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification of account statues to his
forwarding address but got no reply, after two months, we sent a reminder of same letter and finally we discovered from his contact
employers, Sofimation Oy, a Finland Company based in here in Netherlands that Lewis Norman Died in car accident.
After further investigation, I found out that he did not leave a WILL and all attempts to trace next of kin were fruitless. I therefore made
further investigation and discovered that he did not declare any Next of Kin in all his official documents.
This sum of USd$2,500,000 is still floating in our bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year.
No one would come forward to claim it, according to Dutch Law, at the expiration of 6 (six) years; the money will revert to the ownership of
the Dutch government if nobody applies to claim these funds.
Consequent upon the above, my proposal is that I would like you to stand in as the Next of Kin.
I will quickly work out the full documentation and change the name to yours and transfer of the funds into your nominated account anywhere.
We shall discuss the percentage as soon as I hear from you.
william van brook