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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "industrial and commercial bank of china" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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: "Mr.Ming Mui" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 05:21:03 -0700
Subject: MANAGER OF INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA USA
Vice President & Branch Manager
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NY.
Canal Street Main Branch
G/F, 202 Canal Street,
New York, NY 10013, USA
Seeing this email message would be a surprise to you but kindly read it carefully and you will understand the reason why I am contacting you for this purpose. However, this correspondence is UN-official and private, and it should be treated as such. I also guarantee you that this transaction is hitch free from all what you may think of.
I am Mr. Ming Mui, Vice President & Branch Manager, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NY, Canal Street Main Branch, New York, and I am contacting you based on Trust and confidentiality that will be attached to this transaction.
The Management and the Legal department of our bank (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NY) in a recent meeting recommended that the account of late Mr. Wiiliam Aucoin, who was one of my branch depositor, should be declared Dormant, confiscated and the depositor's fund sent to the Bank Treasury according to U.S.A Banking and financial law. Late William Aucoin died on 28th June 2010 of cancer at the Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura,Florida. The bank having made several efforts to contact any of his relatives to claim this money but without success decided to confiscate the fund and declare it public fund.
Late Mr. Wiiliam Aucoin was an account holder in my branch; he owns a dollar account with a huge sum of money deposited in a Secret account with my branch. In fact, since his death, no next of kin of the account holder nor any relative of him has shown up for the claim of this fund, this is because he has the account as a secret account thus he left all the documents for the deposit with me as his account officer and financial advisory.
This is where I am interested and where I want you to come in, I want you to come in as a relative of the deceased; do not bother that you are not in any way related to him because I am in position to affix your name as the next of kin to the deceased and no one will question it since I am the officer in charge of the account. I will give you the relevant documents and contacts to file the application and then I will effect the approvals for the transfer of the fund to your nominated bank account. I will be the one to provide the vital documents for the claims of the money and then advise you exactly how we should handle it.
Please include your telephone number when replying this mail so I can call to give you more information as soon as you indicate your willingness to assist in this transaction. The whole Procedures will last only 9 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully without trace even in future. After the transfer of the money to your nominated bank account, we shall share the money 70-30.that is I will have 70% while you will have 30%.
Kindly respond promptly so that I can advice you on what next to do.Please reply to this my home email address:email@example.com
I will be waiting to hear from you.
Vice President & Branch Manager,
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (USA) NY.