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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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 (163; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Byung Woo Park" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2016 16:57:43 +0100
Subject: Proposal (Reply For Details)
Please accept my sincere apology for this unsolicited letter to you. I hope it will be the beginning of a long-lasting fruitful relationship. My name is Byung Woo Park,a chinese and I am the Director of Wealth Management in one of the leading Banks and I got your contact information through the Public records while searching for a Surname/last name similar to my late client.
I am contacting you regarding a deposit made by a customer who shares the same last name as yourself but died without appointing/declaring a next of kin to his deposit. He is an Oil Magnate and lived in Hong Kong before his demise but before his death, he deposited the sum of $25,500,000.00 (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand USD) with us. These funds are due to be claimed according to the deposit terms and if not within a specified time, it will be forfeited by the authorities and transferred to the government's treasury as Non-performing funds because such fortune are automatically bequeathed to the Government when there is no heir or next of kin to the deceased that would surface to claim the fortune.
I have searched vigorously to find any of the deceased clients relatives to no avail as he did not declare any Next of Kin or any Testate and this is why I have come to you because I noticed that you share the same Surname/Last name with the late customer. I propose that I present you as the closest surviving next of kin and instruct the release of the funds to you using my position as the Director. and Upon receipt of the deposit, we will share the funds 50/45/5.
Please be rest assured, there will be no risk involved either on your part or mine because we will comply with all laws governing claiming of funds and with my knowledge and position, we will scale through without any problem.
The good thing is that in inheritance, the next of kin can be anybody. It is not compulsory for the next of kin to be related to the late customer, it does not even matter if you are from different countries but in this case the uniqueness of the same surname with you will bring us to a perfect conclusion and I have worked out all modalities to complete the transaction successfully, 100% legally and risk free because I have to be careful considering my career.
A lawyer will obtain all documents to give your claims a legal backing and Once the funds are released to you, we will share it in the ratio of 50% for me, 45% for you while remaining 5% will be set aside for any expenses incurred during the cause of securing this deposit.
If my proposal is acceptable to you, kindly reply via my email (email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>).
Byung Woo Park
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.