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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mark Rennison <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2016 11:40:53 +0100
Subject: Mail From Mark Rennison,Group Finance Director, Nationwide Bank
>From the Desk of Mr. Mark Rennison
Group Finance Director:
I am Mr. Mark Rennison,Group Finance Director of Nationwide Bank,Pipers Way; Swindon, SN38 1NW, UK.
I crave your Indulgence to read this mail without any devoid of doubt or misinterpretations rather digest it with a good heart.I am writing to obtain your consent to carry out a transaction that would be highly beneficial to both of us. I know you may be wondering why I am contacting you for this despite all the friends and relations that I have, but I decided to do this with an unknown person to avoid any form of blackmail in the future.
Mr. Douglas G. Karpiloff was an account holder with my bank. I was his account officer for 9 years prior to his death. He died during the World Trade Center bombing in September 11, 2001.
Since his death, the management of my bank has made a series of efforts to locate his family but all efforts were proved futile. I also performed research to find his family and was able to confirm that his mother, who was the only surviving member of the family, died at the hearing of his death. He was divorced prior to his death and due to this fact no one was able to claim the funds he deposited in my bank legally because there was no will attached to it.
He had a secret dollar account with my bank worth the sum of $58,200,000.00 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with an accrual interest agreement of 6.7%, which has been for in effect for the past 9 years.
My purpose for contacting you now is this: My bank during the last executive board meeting resolved that if by the end of next year and there is no beneficiary to the said account, the account will be confiscated and the funds sent to the bank treasury, this is where I am interested in and want you to come in: I want you to present as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary to
I have all the titled documents to confirm your claim and as the Group Finance Director of this branch, it is in my power to carry out any form of verification on the beneficiary of the said funds and process the fund wire without any problem. Be informed that it is legal, 100% risk free as all the titled documents will be changed to your name, and the funds wired to any bank account you wish to have it wired to.
Please note that I am willing to let you have 45% of the total sum while you give me 55% when the fund is credited to your designated bank account. Also, note that I am willing to go extra mile to make this a success because if anything goes wrong, then we stand the risk of losing the funds and it will a shameful for for trying to carry out such a transaction without completion.
This is why I am contacting you so that we can put heads together and take care of this transaction within now and the next 15 days.
Kindly get back to me on receipt to advice you on how this will be carried out.