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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "From: Barrister Williams Khune" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:11:28 -0000
Subject: From: Barrister Williams Khune( business proposal)
From: Barrister Williams Khune
Address: 2nd Floor, Ned bank Place,
35 Sauer Street, Johannesburg,
Republic Of South Africa.
CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
It is with trust and sincerity that I approach you for assistance to transfer some funds into your bank account. Please do accept my apology if my mail infringes on your personal ethics. My name is Barrister Williams Khune, a Private Lawyer based here in Johannesburg South Africa. Honestly it will be my humble pleasure if we can work together. I would like you to act as the next of kin to my deceased client Mr. Andreas Schranner, a German citizen who made a deposit of $23.5 million only with a Bank here in Johannesburg few years back. He died in a plane crash with his immediate family without any registered next of kin and as such the funds now have an open beneficiary mandate with the Bank, This means that any person from your country can act as the next of kin of the person for claiming the inheritance funds without any risk involved.
I have received official letter from the bank suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of the Fund in line with existing laws by the bank in which my client deposited the sum of $23.5 Million Dollars. According to the Government Law as provided in section 129 subs 63(N), South African Banking Edit of 1961 at the expiration of 11 years the fund will revert to the ownership of the South African Government, if nobody applies to claim the fund.
My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the Next of kin and beneficiary of my deceased client so that the bank will pay this $23.5 million to you so that we can share the amount on a mutually agreed percentage of 60% for me 40% for you. All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin will be provided by me. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
If you are interested in this transactions, Please do let me know immediately so that I can give you comprehensive details on how to proceed.
Barrister Williams Khune.