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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "keep this 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)
- 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:
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 02:40:45 +0200
Good Day ,
I do apologise if my message has come to you abruptly,My name is Mr. Julian S. Irwin a Deceased Estates Administrator at First National Bank,South Africa.
I am a partner and colleague of the Chief Financial Officer of my bank( First National Bank,South Africa),who is the Financial Advisor and Property Manager to MR. Ottmar Cronje, an Austrian National, who was involved in an air crash along with members of his family in June of 2010.
Before my partner's late client's death,he was a successful business man and left behind a huge estate. Unfortunately, the names stated as late Mr. Ottmar Cronje's next of kin died along with him in the air crash.
Being a Deceased Estates Administrator at my bank,I was given the task of locating relatives of late Mr. Ottmar Cronje. I have unsuccessfully done all investigative processes and made several inquiries to his Embassy since his death to locate any of his extended relatives. After several unsuccessful attempts in locating a next of kin,i decided to trace his relatives over the Internet, to locate any member of his family but to no avail.
As things stand, the bank has issued a Thirty Official Working Day notice for the next of kin to be provided or the Estate of the Deceased will be declared unserviceable and will consequently be declared unclaimed and confiscated by the Reserve Bank Of South Africa
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the funds and property which amounts to US$ 25,523.800.00 ( Twenty Five Million Five Hundred Twenty Three Thousand Eight Hundred United States Dollars) left behind by late Mr. Ottmar Cronje before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank.
Since no success has been made in locating relatives of the Deceased for over 5 years now, i seek your consent to present you as the next of kin and new beneficiary so that the proceeds of his Estate valued at US $25,523,800 Dollars can be paid to you and then we all can utilize it for decent purposes. I have contacted you as a Foreign National because it would be difficult for this money to be approved to a local bank here as the money is in United States Dollars and the Deceased was a foreign national.
However, I would like to add here that upon your acceptance to assist us in this task, You will be rewarded with 25% of the total sum for your honest assistance and co-operation,15% for Charity(Building of Orphanage homes) ,another 15% for investments that will employ the poor,in the process alleviating poverty.
My partner and I will receive 40% ,another 5% will be for taxation and any expenses that may come up either by myself, yourself or my partner during the transfer. This transfer process is intended immediately after you declare your interest by providing the below listed information.
All necessary legal documents that will be used to back up the claim will be obtained when we start the application process. All that is required is your honest cooperation to enable us carry out this deal.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. After your response,we will discuss further and please do ensure to keep this confidential.
Do contact me on the following email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Julian S. Irwin
Deceased Estates Administrator
First National Bank,