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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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: "Samuel Adjei" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 18:40:09 -0700
Subject: Please Reply Urgently.
I write you this proposal in good faith hoping that I will rely on you in a business transaction that require absolute confidentiality and of great interest and benefit to our both families. In 2008, one of my client who is a Ghanian Citizen whose has your country in his file as his place of origin, made a fixed deposit for 48 months, valued at US$7,500,000.00 (Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand US dollars)
I was his account officer. The maturity date for this deposit contract was 18th of February 2012. Sadly my client was among the death victims in the September 2009 earthquake in Indonesia that left over 1,200 people dead while he was there on business trip. Since the last quarter of 2012 until today, the management of my bank has been finding means to reach him so as ascertain if he will roll over the Deposit or have the contract sum withdrawn, but to no avail until they got the information about his death, and was searching for a family member/relative and next of kin who will claim the funds.
When I discovered that this will happen, I have tried to think up a procedure to preserve this funds. Some directors here have been trying to find out from me the information about this account and the owner, but I have kept it closed because, I know that if they become aware that the client is late, they will corner the funds for themselves.
Therefore, am seeking for your co-operation to present you as the one to benefit from his fund at his death since you have the same country of Origin, so that my bank headquarters will pay the money into your bank account. I have done enough inside bank arrangement and you only have to put in your details into the information network in the bank computers and document and reflect you as his next of kin beneficiary. If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 40% of the funds while 60% shall be for me.
There are many other information's to give you once you accept to go into the transaction with me, i give you my 100% assurance and guarantee over the transaction, No risk is involve, i will be the person to do the hard work inside, all i need is to present you and we shall comply together as partner, i will send you my id card and other related details when i hear from you.
please reply to my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Samuel Adjei