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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "dormant account" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Hans J. Grethe" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:28:18 -0800
Subject: Can we do this together
I have contacted you because I have carried out research into a dormant account of a deceased client at the financial institute where I presently audit its accounts; here in the United Kingdom and the client has no heirs.The account has a significant amount of money in it. An account is judged to be dormant if there has been no activity in it, or contact with the client,for 15 years. Normally, account holders lose contact due to death without leaving a will and there's no known heir to inherit. The treasury department receives the unclaimed money unless a previously unknown distant relative comes and puts a claim on it; which is usually within a limited time frame.
The United Kingdomâs Treasury Department receives over ?10bn every year from unclaimed estates; forgotten funds; abandoned shares and dormant accounts and some of it could be ours if we can work together as I can provide all relevant documents and information. We could present you as the next of kin to deceased, as laid out in section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act of 1925 (with subsequent amendments) if you agree to work with me.Late Rafik Bahaa Edine Hariri (November 1, 1944 - February 14, 2005),married to Nazek Audi Hariri, was a Lebanese self-made billionaire and business tycoon, and was five times Prime Minister of Lebanon(1992-1998 and 2000-2004)before his last resignation from office on October 20,2004.The late Rafik Hariri died on February 14, 2005 when explosives equivalent to around 300 kg of C4 were detonated as his motorcade drove past the Saint George Hotel in the Lebanes capital,for more information please log on to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafi k_Hariri]
I will need to enter into an agreement with you, which will cover the disbursement aspect of funds. Furthermore, you will have to sign a consent form that gives the lawyer power of attorney to represent you at the probate office (for the Procurement of the Grant of Probate). The amount in question currently stands at six million seven hundred and fifty-nine thousand British Pounds Sterling only.At the closure of this transaction, 35% of the total funds will be yours,50% for me and 15% will be set aside for expenses both of us might occur during the transaction.So, if you would like to team up with me discreetly to secure these funds for ourselves, please have your full information sent to me which include,full name, address,age, occupation and contact number(s).
I await your careful considered answer as when we proceed we cannot stop half way, as this is one in a life time opportunity to go big.
Mr. Hans J. Grethe.
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