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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "Pastor Douglas Humfery" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2016 00:01:12 -0500
Subject: Pastor Douglas Humfery(I need Your Assistance
Greeting Dear Foreigner
It is the Almighty that directed you to me after series of prayers . That you are a trust worthy person and will assist me achieve this great
venture.I contacted you because I have interest for investing in your country into Real Estate business (ie: Hotel, Lands and Tourism) as well as seek your services in a private and confidential matter.
i am pastor Douglas Humfery, a banker by profession .I am a Chartered Accountant and Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Union Bank of Africa .
I wish to seek your assistance for the transfer of US$10.5M Dollars ,A depository made by a foreign investor for an investment programme that has remained dormant for
I discovered that the account holder died in car accident in 1994 without making a WILL on the depository. and upon my further curious investigation, the deceased was a member of a government agency where huge amounts were reportedly missing.
I got your contact E-mail address through the internet in my search to find a trustworthy person on whom I can repose confidence for colossal international money transaction. My aim of sending this "business proposal"to you is to solicit for your assistance and co-operation to transfer the huge amount of fund into your account overseas. Therefore, this communication should be held in high confidence.
This money cannot be approved to a local bank account holder here , but can only be approved to a foreigner abroad ,The funds belong to a foreigner and can only be claimed by a foreigner according to our banking policy here.
If you will agree to stand as next of kin to the fund, it will be shared 50% for you and 50% to me , as this is a TWO-man business deal transaction.
I need your assistance and co-operation to this reality as I have done my Home-work and fine tune the best way to create you as the beneficiary of the fund. My position in the bank will be used to advance this deal.
My people are suffering so much here in Africa ,i need a foreigner like you abroad to claim / stand as next of kin of this fund for the bank to release this fund to you .
i wish to use my own share to also help the church and also less privilege E.g motherless and the fatherless and beggars here instead of leaving
the fund as unclaimed funds in the bank .
I will like you to provide your full Names and country you reside ,so i can discuss this matter further with you.
My Attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavit which will put you in place as the next of kin. The Attorney will draft and carry out the notarization of the WILL and also obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for
I will appreciate your early reply for commencement of business. Contact me for acknowledgment by E-mail .
If this proposal is acceptable by you, I expect that you will not take undue advantage of the trust I will bestow upon you. I await your urgent response.
Do reply me thru this e-mail (Pastor.email@example.com)
I await your urgent response.
Thanks with great regards.
Pastor Douglas Humfery