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:
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Louis Christopher" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 09:36:23 +0100
Subject: Your attention is needed.
Your attention is needed.
I wish to intimate you with a request that would be of immense benefit to both of us. My name is Mr.Louis Christopher auditing and accounting sections,foreign remittance department of one of the leading bank in Africa with due respect and regard.
I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction. I got your email contact from your countryâs Business Directory and decided to contact you regarding a business proposal.
Please I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response.
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a huge sum of US$28m belongs to a deceased customer Mr. Lou Baotang, a Chinese who was one of the victim of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) which crashed in the south of the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014 on the way from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport killing all on board. Mr. Lou Baotang is number 92 on the manifest of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370.
Since his untimely death, the bank has been waiting for the next of kin to come for the claim of his funds valued at US$28m, having gone through a methodical search for his next of kin, which i personally have failed in the search for his relatives.
I seek your consent to present you to the bank as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$28m can be paid to you. Then we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal documents to back up your claim as the next-of-kin will be provided, all i require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us execute this great business opportunity.
This business will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from all breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your moral values, please do accept my apology. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% of the total sum as gratification, 1% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of the transfer, while 59% will be for me and my partner.
Kindly treat this transaction with absolute confidentiality and sincerity.
I wait to hear from you for further directives stating your wish in this deal.
Mr. Louis Christopher
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