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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "top secret" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Usman Ahmad" <"www."@blue.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Usman Ahmad" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 17:58:30 +0900 (JST)
Subject: CAREFULLY READ MY LETTER TO YOU
Good Day to you. This might come strange, but I will like you to carefully read my letter and give a good thought about this business proposal. Before I proceed I will like make a formal introduction about myself.
My name is Usman Ahmad, I am the head of fixed income at the Emirates NBD Asset Management. I am responsible for the management of over USD1.6 billion fixed incomes funds and portfolios. I believe it is the wish of Allah for me to come across you. I have been in search for someone who is reliable and trust worthy so we can both work together, I came across your email and I was pushed to contact you and see how best we can assist each other in business.
I have an important business proposal I wish to share with you. I believe it will interest you and i want you to handle it with utmost sincerity and commitment so it can benefit us both.
One late Peter Souza , a foreign investor with my bank, had a fixed deposit with the bank since 2011 for a period of 60 calendar months, valued at US$40,000,000.00 (Forty Million United States Dollars). The due date for this deposit contract was 30 th May 2016 . Sadly Peter Souza met his end during a business trip to Russia. He was among the victims who lost their lives in a plane crash by FLYDUBAI FLIGHT 981 (FZ981/FDB981) after twice aborted landing on March 19 2016 . This was how I lost my business friend. You can verify this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Flydubai_Flight_981 . The bank management is yet to know about the death of Peter Souza. I only knew about his death because he was my friend and also his personal account officer, managing his fixed income at the bank. I was the one who introduced him to fix his income with the bank so his assets can be managed properly. Interestingly he never mentioned any Next of kin/ Heir when this account was opened and he was not married during this time.
Last week my bank management requested that Peter should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract. I knew this would happen because I have been giving a long thought since the death of my friend and this is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation because if my bank directors get to know about the death of Peter they will divert the funds for their personal use and I don$B!G(Bt want to lose out so I seek a means to get this done. I am proposing this to you and seek your co-operation to present you as the next of kin/heir to the account so my bank can release the funds to you.
As the account officer to Peter, I will give you guideline on how to achieve this. This transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement. It is better that we claim this money than allowing the bank directors to take it because they are rich already. I am not a greedy person so am suggesting we share the funds equally (50% each) when this done. My share will be more than enough to start my own company. Let me know your mind on this and please kindly treat this information as a Top Secret. I shall go over the details with you as soon as I receive a confirmation of trust and co-operation from you.
Please I advise you message me directly on my private email firstname.lastname@example.org . I am highly waiting in anticipation on this business proposal. Thanks