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:
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "observe utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Arne W. Hassel" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 May 2017 05:31:30 +0100
Subject: Re: Good Day!
From The Desk Of Arne W.Hassel
440 Strand,Covent Garden
I have a confidential brief I need your partnership in re- profiling fund invested in Coutts & Co, What I require from you is your honest co-operation, I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach of the law.
I wish to seek your assistance for the transfer of £8.7 Million GBP depository made by a foreign investor for an investment programme that has remained dormant for years now. I discovered that the account holder died 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.
This money cannot be approved to a local bank account holder, but can only be approved to a foreigner. If you will stand as next of kin to the fund, it will be shared 50%/50%, as this is a TWO-men business deal transaction.
I shall provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the 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 as the branch manager of the bank will be used to advance this deal.
I will like you to provide immediately your full Names and Address, Date of Birth, Occupation, Tel & Fax Numbers so that an Attorney will be able to 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 the claim.
I will appreciate your early reply for commencement of business. Contact me for acknowledgment by E-mail and whereby you are not interested; please indicate in your reply so that I can seek for the assistance of someone else.
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,This email is not to be disclosed to a third party and disregard if you do not appreciate this proposition I have offer you
There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by the attorney and with my position as the credit officer Private Banking guarantees
the successful execution of this transaction.
Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction.
You should observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance to invest my share in your country.
I await your urgent response.
Thanks with great regards.