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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Peter Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Peter Brown <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 14:57:42 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Your Urgent Reply Is Highly Needed.
MR. PETER BROWN
238 Roan Crescent
Sage Corporate Park
Victoria Island Nigeria
RE: TRANSFER OF ($48,223.000.00 USD}FORTY EIGHT MILLION TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE THOUSANDÂ DOLLARS) INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.Â
Â I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business. Though, this medium (Internet)has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest medium of communication. However,this correspondence is official and private, and it should be treated as such.
At first I will like to assure you that this transaction is 100% risk and trouble free to both parties.
My name is MR. Peter Brown, I work as the personal manager in account management section in charge of credit and foreign bills of one of the prime banks here in Nigeria. On a routine inspection I discovered a dormant domiciliary account with a Balance Of S$48,223,000. 00 (Forty eight million two hundred and twenty three thousand U.S dollar).On further discreet investigation, I also discovered that the account holder has died long ago with his family on a fatal Auto-accident leaving no beneficiary to the account and no other person knows about this account.
I am in close contact with the manager of the bank here who is my partner and he is willing to approve the transfer to any reliable and trustworthy foreigner with foreign bank account because the former operator of the a/c is a foreigner and from Australia in particular. I am certainly sure that he has no written or oral WILL attached to the account , no beneficiary and nobody will come again for the claim of this money. It is only a foreigner who can claim this money with legal claims to the account holder which I will provide to you if you are interested, therefore I need your cooperation in this transaction. The difference in country of origins is not a hindrance to the success of this transaction. This money will remain useless in this dormant account if I did not transfer the fund out to a foreign account.
I will provide the necessary information and documents needed in order to claim this money. I only need your cooperation as a foreigner to provide your safe bank account information for the transfer. All arrangement that will ensure a smooth transfer of the fund to the account which you are to nominate is already in place.You should also provide me with your direct phone lines for easy communication. I wish for utmost confidentiality in handling this transaction.
At the conclusion of this transaction, your share will be 30% of the total transfer sum, 60% for me and my partner while 10% will be set aside for any expenses both parties might inure during the process of the transfer. The fund will be transferred to your account in two parts. I will first transfer $20USD Million to your account. I will fly over to meet you after the successful transfer for sharing according to the agreed percentages.I will have the remaining balance of USD28,223 Million transferred to your account only after the successful sharing of the first transfer without any disappointment from your side.
Let me hear from you URGENTLY.
For further inquiries contact me through my private email address : (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MR. PETER BROWN.