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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Sara Zamaz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Ms. Sara Zamaz" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:43:41 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Business Proposal
I am Mrs. Sara Zamaz from Malaysia married to Mr. Andrew Zamaz from South Africa, for seven years now we have two kids. I am the manager bills and exchange at the foreign remittance department of CIMB BANK here in Malaysia. I have a business proposal which I believe that will be a very Good opportunity for both of us so I decided to contact you on this business opportunity in our Bank, the business is this I discovered an Abandoned sum of 77.7m US Dollars (Seventy Seven Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in our safety deposit vault that belongs to one of our foreign Customer Mr. Anderseni Ferrara who died along with his entire family on 11th March 2004 in a ghastly train explosion in Penanag , Malaysia. Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because the management can not release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin to the deceased as indicated inour banking guidelines but unfortunately I learnt that all his Family died alongside with him in the train explosion leaving nobody behind for the claim.
Since you are a foreigner and the deceased customer is also a foreigner, them you can make this deal with me, I have the entire secret informationâs of this deposit which will help you to claim this money as the next of kin. It is therefore upon this discovery that I decided to make this business proposal to you and the money release to you as the next of kin to the deceased since nobody is coming for it and I donât want this money to go into the Banks treasury as unclaimed funds or declared to the Government of Malaysia, once this is done the Government of Malaysia will confiscate the funds, which is not good for both of us. I agreed that 40 % of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to your acceptance to do this business with me, while 60 % would be for me and my family.
Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to your account as arranged, you must apply first to the Bank as the next of kin of the deceased indicating your interest of claim of your inherited funds which I will assist you with guideline on how to make the application, upon receipt of your reply to the above email subject, I will send to you the text of the application which you will send to the Bank. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is a hitch free that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made perfectly. At this moment you should feel free to contact me back through this my email as soon as you receive this letter. You should understand that this should be kept very confidential because is a deal that must be carry out confidentially, let it be between you, me and my husband only. This is the only way we can achieve success. I will level the whole arrangement here inthe Bank for the transfer to be approved immediately.
Please take note that my Husband and few officer in the Bank I have discussed this business with and we both agreed to do this business with you and have better lifeâs together, he answers my phone anytime I am at work or not around, for the security of this business, please feel free to mail me and leave your full name, contact phone and fax numbers to enable me get back to you as soon as possible.
I await your email acknowledgement as soon as you receive this email, to enable us proceed.
Thanks and God Bless.
Mrs. Sara Zamaz