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:
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jacob Ebele" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:24:45 +0100
Subject: Re: Bequest of Late Mark Davey
Ref : Reference code Number : 526J26548
I am the auditor and head of computing department of a Reputable Bank and I was lucky to discover an account opened belonging to a customer Engr. Mark Davey From United Kingdom hereinafter referred to as 'my customer' who worked as contractor with Mobil an oil magnate in my country and was killed by Armed Robbers. I will also send you details as soon as you respond to my email. Since we heard of his death, We have been expecting his next of Kin to come and put claims for his money as the heir, because we can not release his fund from his account unless someone applies for claims as the next of kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.
Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relative has ever appeared to claim the said fund. I am totally shock to discover this account was DORMANT for so many years, when I investigated deeply by contacting the assigned Authorities I also found that there was no next of kin to this account nobody has operated on this account after the death of the deceased .
On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL,and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Mark Davey did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank.
I decided to use my position at the Bank to communicate with you so that we can claim the funds and transferred to you
smoothly we can start Investing the funds into your country and I will come down after three(3) months to receive my share
Please respond immediately if you are truly interested to work with me on this deal and I will use my position and influence to effect the legal approval and onward transfer of this fund into your account with appropriate clearance from foreign payment department.
We shall employ the services of an attorney for drafting and notarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favour for the transfer.
A bank account in any part of the world that you will provide will then facilitate the transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of kin.
Kindly quote the reference code numbers above when responding to this mail. Note also, this transaction must be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL because of its nature.
I will fill you in with further details upon your reply to me .
Mr. Jacob Ebele