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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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: "Mr. Henry James" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2016 00:49:46 -0700
Subject: YOU AS NEXT OF KIN
I Am Henry James the Manager, Bills And Exchange at the Foreign Remittance department in a Bank. Actually, I have a very urgent & confidential Business Proposition for you & for our overall mutual interest. On the 6th of March 2001, our Customer, an American National, late Williams J. Stone, an Oil Merchant / Contractor with the Federal Government of Nigeria, deposited, a valued amount of US$32Million in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarded address but got no reply. After a month we sent a reminder, & finally we discovered from his contract employers NNPC, that late William J. Stone, until his death Twelve years ago in a ghastly terrorist attack to American Airlines Flight 11, from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) with 86 people on board. All occupants of the Aeroplane unfortunately lost their lives.
On further Investigation, I found out that he did not leave a WILL and all attempts to trace his Next of kin were Fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that late Williams J. Stone , did not declare any Next of kin in all his official documents.This sum US$32Million is still floating in the bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will come forward to claim it. According to Nigerian Laws, at the expiration of 15years, the money will revert to the Ownership of the Nigerian Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. Consequently,my proposal is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as a Next of kin of Late Williams J. Stone This is simple. All I require is your honest and co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I will want you to send to me on your return email the following information for the transfer in your favor.
1. Your full names as the Beneficiary of the Fund.
2. Your contact address.
3. Your private phone and fax numbers.
Let's consider that our ratio of sharing will be as stated Thus;
1. I as the Originator of the Fund will take 50% of the transferable Fund.
2. You as the Manager of the Fund will take 50% of the transferable Fund.
Most importantly, CONFIDENTAILITY as what I saw as the life wire to the success of the transfer of this Fund must have to be emulated between you and me. You have to use this media to promise me that you will not in anyway expose the content of this transaction to anybody be it your Friends, Colleagues and Co-Workers.I will also want you to send your reply to this email < firstname.lastname@example.org > as soon as you get this mail to enable us discuss on the modalities and processes for success of this transaction. Thanks for your Anticipated cooperation and understanding.
I wait for your kind response.
Thanks And Remain blessed.