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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Richard Henderson" <xx@yy>
Date: Sat, 07 Nov 2015 06:22:13 -0800
Subject: Kindly Confirm Your Partnership with me?
#14th Floor, Integra Tower,
The Intermark, 348,
Jalan Tun Razak
My Request for Partnership
I have a very important request that make me to contact you. First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, because its totally confidential. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, since there was no previous correspondence between us. But I am assuring you that its a legitimate and very clean business.
I am Mr. Richard Henderson, personal treasurer to Late Mr. KIM, a foreign national, a business tycoon, but he is a widower. He was one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370 / MAS370) which crashed in the south of the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014 on the way from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport killing all on board. He died along side with his only daughter. Since then all my several enquiries here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, has proved totally unsuccessful.
Thus I decided to search with his name through the public records; to locate any member of his extended family hence I saw your name. I know you may not be biologically related to him but since you both bear the same surname, I decided to contact you to enable us retrieve this deposit from the finance & security company.
Before his untimely death, he deposited an investment funds under Personal Treasury valued at £36.590.000.00(Million GBP) for Safe investments with a finance and security company. He handed over authority to me for the management and disbursement of these funds. But due to security and personal reason, I will only provide you with more details as soon as I confirm your readiness to conclude the transaction with me.
The finance & security company has hereby give me a final mandate to present a member of his family or an (heir/inheritor) to make claims or the vault will be confiscated and taken to the bureau of Diplomatic Security treasury as unclaimed funds. With regards to this, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the diplomatic consignment would be released to you and the content is further disbursed on the ratio of 50:50 between us.
YOUR OWN ROLE:
All I need from you is to stand as the beneficiary of the Above quoted Sum and I will re-profile the funds with your name, which will enable the finance and security company release the sum into your bank account as the foreign business partner to Mr. KIM. I have decided to use this sum to setup a good joint business investment with you in your country. I am assuring you that this deal is 100% risk free, The transaction has to be concluded within 2 weeks upon acceptance by reply email. Please, You can contact me directly through my direct Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), for further clarification.
Thanking you in Anticipation for your good understanding as I await for your quick response
Mr. Richard Henderson
Chief Financial Consultant.