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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Chairil Tamil" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 03:35:47 -0600
Subject: URGENT AND IMPORTANT.
My name is Chairil Mohd Tamil. I am the Chief Business Officer of Export-Import Bank of Malaysia(EXIM), working as part of a bigger team that covers the entire region. On routine audit check last year, I discovered an investment account with vast amount of money in the tune of Fourteen Million Seven hundred thousand United States Dollars belonging to one of our clients a foreign national who has the same last name as yourself and who died in the year 2002.Due to my high profile status with my bank,I shall leave out the further details of this transaction such as clients full names until I receive an affirmation of your desire to participate hence will advise you contact me via my contact details below and also send to me your contact information if interested.
According to our banking legislation, any account that is dormant for at least fifteen years without operation will be confiscated by the authorities as new financial regulation/legislation demands that we notify the fiscal authorities after a certain statutory time span. The above set of facts underscores my reason of writing and proposing to you as I can confirm with certainty that the said investor died interstate with no next of kin to his estate as our records shows that he was single with no kids at the time of death.
I am of the settled conviction that using my insider leverage, that working with you can secure the funds in the account for us instead of letting it pass to the coffers of the government of Malaysia. This is possible as you share the same last name with the said investor which is why I crave your participation and co-corporation. Note that everything will be legal and risk free as I have the relevant documents(Banking) that will facilitate my putting you forward as the claimant/beneficiary of the funds after which you will get 50 percent of the total deposit plus accumulated interest.
Be rest assured that I am on top of this situation and there will be no risk involved as everything will be done legally according to the law.Needless to say that confidentiality is a priority if we are to successfully reap the immense benefits of this transaction and hope you do understand the true meaning of confidentiality. I await your response.
Chairil Mohd Tamil
Tel No: +60 392 121 428
Private E-Mail: email@example.com