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:
- "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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Larry Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Larry Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2016 17:29:29 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Re: I need your assistance
>From Mr. Larry Williams (Auditor Absa Bank)
Amalgamated Banks of South Africa
Absa Building, Commissioner Street,
Tel: 27 73 562 8811
STRICTLY FOR YOU & NEEDS URGENT RESPONSE PLEASE!
I am quite sure that this mail will surprise you since I have not been having previous correspondences with you.
My name is Mr. Larry Williams the bank auditor of the above named bank. I have a good business proposition for you which I know that by the special grace of God will be beneficial to both of us.
Firstly before I proceed, I have to assure you that this letter is practically achievable if given maximum support and co-operation.
In June 1999, Mr. Christian Eich a German Engineer who run car-maker Bmw museum here in South Africa deposited the sum of $8.5million US Dollars with our bank on a three year fixed deposit basis with his son Mr Michael Eich registered as the next of kin / beneficiary to the account, after the three years expiration, Mr. Christian Eich was not seen nor heard even the son who is the beneficiary, nothing was heard from him so I decided to roll it over. Since then it has been rolling over, I have sent mails, faxes to his numbers and addresses given still no response I was forced to contact the (Bmw) he has been dealing with but was surprised to hear that him and his son died in an auto crash just a year after he deposited the money with us.
May his soul rest in peace!
The South African law states that, in cases like this, the money should be returned to the government account and am seriously against returning this old man$B!G(Bs sweat to the govt account, because one of the officials will steal this money from the govt account so I have decided to divert this money to my own private use and I have used my good contact to withdraw this money & transfer it to our escrow account for smooth and successful transfer of the fund.
I am writing for you to assist me in securing this money for investment purposes.
You are to take 30% of the total sum for your assistance, 5% to take care of all the expenses incurred during this transaction, while the remaining will be for my investment in your country. On receipt of your acceptance letter, a mutual agreement will be reached in-between us and I will direct you on all that is to be done to enable you receive the money in your account.
Please get back to me through my mobile number above as well as my private e-mail address email@example.com for confidentiality and security reasons.
May God bless you.
Mr. Larry Williams.