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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR AL MULLA" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 23:47:08 -0700
Subject: PLEASE REPLY IMMEDIATELY
>From Mr.Al Mulla.
Manager Islamic First Bank IslamicFB,Abu Dhabi PJSC Building Al Maktoum Road Port Saeed Area 1080,Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirate (U.A.E.)
I am pleased to get across to you for a very confidential and profitable business proposal.I got your contact while searching for a reliable person who would assist me to execute this life time business opportunity in my department. I deemed it fit to contact you to seek your assistance in this profitable project which requires trust and confidentiality.
An American of Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC),made a numbered time (fixed) deposit for Seventeen Years,17 Valued at 10,000,000.00 USD (Ten Million US Currency) in my branch upon maturity. Our department sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply.
After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) that Mr.Charles Balassi died with his wife Mrs.Novelle Balassi in a plane crash on October 31,1999,(an Egyptian Boeing 767 Flight 990) with other passengers on board as you can confirm it yourself via the Website below for verification (BBC WORLD NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/502503.stm
The most astonishing of my discovery was that, all records bear no next of kin, meaning no member of Late Mr.Charles Balassi family knows about the deposit, therefore no member of his family will ever come forward to claim the fund. So to avoid the bank transferring the stipulate fund in a dormant account as unclaimed funds to the emirates treasury account, the above stated funds must be claimed immediately by somebody who would stand as the Next of Kin of the late Mr.Charles Balassi as the beneficiary, because according to the financial laws of United Arab Emirates, at the expiration of seventeen Years 17,this money will be reverted to the ownership of the Government treasury account if nobody applies to claim the fund.
Furthermore, this revelation is only known to me because I was his personal account officer in our bank before I was transferred to this present office. Hence I seek your collaboration to act as next of kin/beneficiary to late Mr.Charles Balassi to claim the funds and move them into useful investments, we shall split the cash between ourselves upon the confirmation of the money into your deem fit bank account. I am ready to offer you 35% of the total fund.
Please note that by the virtue of my position in the bank, I have worked out the perfect modality on how to claim the fund and I shall provide the relevant information and documents for the successful claim and transfer of the funds in the account that would be provided by you, I cannot stand at the forefront of this transaction because I work with the bank, that is why I have come to you for assistance, be rest assured that this project involves 100% risk free. Upon the receipt of your acceptance mail,I shall then provide you with more details that will help you understand this transaction. I will like you to provide immediately your private phone number and fax numbers for easy communication.
Awaiting your urgent reply via my confidential email address: firstname.lastname@example.org