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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Vincent Thebo Zulu Esq" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:00:35 +0200
Subject: From Mr. Vincent Thebo Zulu Esq.. This is urgent, please reply
Mr. Vincent Thebo Zulu Esq
Pretoria South Africa
I am Mr. Vincent Thebo Zulu Esq, an expert in corporate and legal claims; I am contacting you in regards to a deceased client of mine who died as a result of old age at 83. He was a client from United Kingdom (UK) who was operating a Gold and Diamond mining company here in South Africa.
Before his death, my client made number of deposits totaling $71,900,000 (Seventy One Million Nine hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with a bank here in South Africa. While opening this secret account, my client did not indicate anyone as his Next of Kin and documentations regarding this account indicate that claims can only be made by his business partner, relative or family member.
Unfortunately he had no will at the time of his death and did not indicate any one in particular as the Next of Kin. All efforts made revealed no link to any of his family member.
However, the new African Union law of succession/claims/fund indicates duration in which such claims could be tolerated. The bank holding this money have mandated me as the lawyer to the deceased to present the Next of Kin or a relative who will claim the funds and failure to respond to this ultimatum would legally allow the financial institute to report this funds to the Reserve Bank of South Africa as unclaimed funds.
I have put in place all necessary requirements concerning the release of this funds and it is my intention to introduce this opportunity to you as the beneficiary. Please note that I'm legally equipped with all necessary information/documentations concerning this fund to present you as my clients Next of Kin so that the funds valued at $71,900,000.00 can be paid to you.
Upon your decision of acceptance, I would process the release of these funds to your possession; you would be entitled to 40% of the said funds and 60% for me. For security reasons, I have decided not to add more information into this letter, but immediately you get in touch with me, I would be able to inform you on how this could be concluded.
For time difference and confidential reasons, I strongly advise that you firstly contact me via email and we will take it up from there. Its' been my wish to have an investment outside my country, so this is an opportunity for me to invest my share of these funds in your country.
In conclusion, it's my concern to demand your ultimate honesty, co-operation and confidentiality to enable us conclude this transaction. I GUARANTEE that this process would be executed under a legitimate arrangement that would legally protect you from any breech of Law. This is 100% legal and risk free.
I await your urgent response to this message if interested.
Vincent Thebo Zulu