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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "Femi Martins" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 21:58:13 -0400
Subject: Compliments (Proposal)
I am Mr.Femi Martins a senior accountant with one of the leading banks here in Lagos Nigeria. First, I must solicit your confidence in this Transaction, this is by virture of its nature as being CONFIDENTIAL. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one skeptical but I am assuring that all will work out perfectly at the end of the day, My client a German property magnate Andreas Schranner, 64 years old, his wife Maria, their daughter Andrea Eich, her husband Christian and their two children Katharina and Maximilian were all victims of the AF4590 Plane crash which occurred On Monday 31 July, 2000, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK. PLEASE FIND MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE PLANE CRASH IN THE WEBSITE STATED ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm )
Unfortunately, my client and his entire family lost their lives in that disaster that needed not to have happened. Since then I have made several enquirers to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. I decided to search for any trusted and honest person on the net who can stand as the next of kin and have his remaining transferred to him or her After which we can then discuss on the sharing ratio in favor of the both of us , before his death and until date i was his account officer here in Nigeria were he owned chains of property investment firms.
My purpose of contacting you is to assist in repatriating the fund left behind by my client prior to his death before they get confiscated or declared non serviceable by my bank where this huge funds were lodged, As at date the deceased had an account valued at about US$10.4 million.The bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin being his account officer or have the funds confiscated within the next 20 working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives over the years, I now seek your consent that you stand as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$10.4 million can be paid to you. All documents to enable you get this fund will be carefully worked out.
This proposal is 100% risk-free and also a legal one because i am his account officer till date and i know all about the funds. We have agreed that the fund be shared after it must have been transferred into your account successfully.
IF YOU ARE READY TO PROCEED WITH ME THEN CONTACT ME ON MY PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL EMAIL ADDRESS STATED BELOW
Mr Femi Martins