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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Andrew FUNG" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:44:00 -0400
Subject: Business proposal
Thank you for giving me attention.
I know this mail might come to you as a surprise due to the fact we have not met or seen before, I am Andrew Hau Chung FUNG, Executive Director and Head of Global Banking and Markets, Bank Of China. Hong Kong.
This transaction is concerning an abandoned sum of $22,500,000.00 U.S Dollars. In June 2006, A customer called Azeez Musa Numan came to our bank for business discussions and investment, As the officer in charge of his transaction, I encouraged him to consider various growth of funds with prime ratings. Then he invested Nineteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only. Based on my advice, we were able to spin the initial deposit with profit and interest to $22.5 million U.S Dollars.
After few months; my bank sent several notice to him, even during the war between U.S and Iraqi. Again after the war another notification was sent but still no response came from him. After series of investigation, I got information that Azeez Musa Numan and his family had been killed during the war in a bomb blast that hit his home at Baghdad, Iraq. Because of the sensitive nature of private banking, most customers don't nominate next of kin in their investment, also usually in most cases leave their WILLS in our care.
It is quite clear that our dear client died with no known or identifiable family member. According to practice, the Private banking sector will by the first quarter this year broadcast a request for statement of claim to Bank Of China, failing to receive viable claims they will probably revert the deposit to the Management of Bank Of China. This will result the money entering the Bank accounting system and the portfolio will be out of my hands and out of the private banking division.
Now, I am prepared to give the necessary details to you as the closest surviving relation of our deceased customer (Azeez Musa Numan). I am also proposing that after a successful execution of the business deal, the funds will be shared in the ratio 40/60. You will get 40% and I will be entitled to 60% as the initiator of the deal.
I will give you the relevant INFORMATION for the successful transfer of these funds and we both enjoy it in peace.
If you agree to proceed, My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Hau Chung FUNG.