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.
- 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)
- "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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?Q?NHolas?= <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 11:55:36 -0500
Date: June 25, 2016,
I am aware that this letter has come to you as a surprise as we have not met before or handled any business deals in the past. Nevertheless, I have contacted you with genuine intentions and I hope I can trust you with this Inheritance opportunity which will be explained below. My name is Mr. Nathaniel Holas, an account manager with the Capitec Bank (Pretoria).
I retrieved your contact info in my search for the next of kin to a deceased customer of our bank, a citizen of your country, who lived and died in London, Ontario Canada from Cardiac Arrest in the year 2006. Unfortunately this customer died intestate leaving his bank account with an open beneficiary status. All efforts made by our bank to locate his relatives have been unsuccessful so I decided to write you as I have monitored this account in the bank for almost 10 years now and no one has come forth with any claim. I would like to present you to our bank as his next of kin to claim this dormant account worth $11Million USD ( Eleven Million US Dollars).
You will apply to the bank as an extended relative to the deceased customer while I work from the inside to make sure all needed information and evidence are provided to you to back up your claim. The account has an open beneficiary status, which is why I have contacted you to come forth and claim the funds as the next of kin and beneficiary. Since he is from your country and you both share the same last name, its easy for you to become his official next of kin. If we do not make a claim to the funds now, the funds would be reverted back to the system as an unclaimed estate at the expiration of a 10 years dormancy period as approved.
I assure you that this transaction would be handled under due inheritance procedures and every necessary arrangement will be put in place to make you the real beneficiary of the Inheritance. It also requires all confidentiality at this stage and I believe that you are ready to keep this absolutely discreet until you are able to claim the funds from the bank. Once the funds are released to you, it will be shared between the two of us.
Please send your response to my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your readiness to proceed with this transaction and we will discuss more details as well as the procedure to achieve a successful completion. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and people achieve it every day.
I await your response
Sincerely, Mr. Nathaniel Holas