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:
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dormant account" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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. Luis Perez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 22:35:08 -0700
Subject: Information for you.
>From Mr, Luis Perez
Postfach 8098 Zurich
I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business. Though this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest medium of communication. However, this correspondence is private, and it should be treated in strict confidence. I work with Bank UBS AG Zurich at their offshore department, I will be happy to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you will keep TOP SECRET.
During our last end of year auditing I discovered some dormant accounts with holding balances of Five Hundred and Twenty Five million US Dollars.
Sometimes a person will open a bank account, deposit money, and then disappear into thin air. Banks are not always able to find out what has become of these
silent customers, or to know whether they should follow up on requests from people who claim to be heirs to the accounts. The main problem is that the customer resides abroad and, due to bank secrecy, the bank cannot publish notices in the international press to locate the depositories. This has led the majority of Swiss banks to refrain from opening small-deposit accounts for foreign customers; for fear that they will forget that the account exists.
It has happened in the past, however, that customers pass away and their heirs can neither prove the death, nor their heir ship. This was a frequent occurrence
during the wartime periods, and the banks have now set up a simple, rapid resolution procedure operating to their customers advantage. Dormant assets are
defined as any assets deposited with a bank (an account, a custody account or a safety-deposit box) for which there has been no contact with the customer in the bank s files for the last ten years or more.If you believe you have claim to a Swiss bank account for which the holder (e.g. an ancestor) has not been in contact with the bank for over ten years, there is a fairly simple procedure to follow, depending on the date the account was opened. This account in question has not been operated for the past years, As at this
moment I am constrained to issue more details about this business until your response is received.If you are not familiar with Swiss Dormant Accounts and profile, please take a moment of your very busy schedules to read about Swiss dormant accounts:
If you know that you are capable to handle large or small amount on trust and can keep secret and ready to take 40% of any amount I transfer to your account from the dormant accounts and I will take 60%, send your account information s by return mail. Tell me more about yourself, while I look forward to receive the above information. Please you can write me to my most private email address (email@example.com).
I want to re-assure you that this business is risk free and you can send an empty account to receive the funds, provided that the account is capable to receive
incoming funds. Send your private mobile phone number where I can reach you now. and let me hear from you.
Thank you for your time and attention.
The information in this email is confidential and intended solely for the addressee(s). Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of General Store or its subsidiaries. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this email in error and that any disclosure, distribution, printing, forwarding or copying is prohibited and may be unlawful.Please notify the sender if you have received this email in error. General Store and subsidiaries are not liable for the proper and complete transmission of the information contained in this communication, or for any delay in its receipt.