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:
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "foreign exchange" (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.
- 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: "Dubai Islamic Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 05:10:38 -0700
Subject: DUBAI ISLAMIC BANKING(DIB)
I write you this proposal in good faith believing that you will not betray me this business endeavor. I am H.E. Hamad SAGAR, a Director in Dubai Islamic Bank.
One Mr. Peter Kavvadias a citizen of your country and Crude Oil dealer made a fixed deposit with my bank in 2005 for 108 calendar months, the due date for this deposit contract was last 22nd of January 2014. Sadly Peter Kavvadias was among the death victims in the May 27 2006 Earthquake disaster in Java, Indonesia that killed over 5,000 people. He was in Indonesia on a business trip and that was how he met his untimely end. My bank management is yet to know about his death, I knew about it because he was my friend and I am his Personal Account Officer in our bank. Peter Kavvadias did not mention any Next of Kin/Heir when the account was opened, he was not married and no children. Last week my Bank Management requested that Peter Kavvadias should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract.
I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation because if my Bank Directors happens to know that Peter Kavvadias is dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their personal use, so I don't want such to happen. That is why I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you are a foreigner and my bank head quarters will release the account to you. There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of law. I will use my position and influence to obtain all legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance from the relevant ministries and foreign exchange departments. It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank directors to take it as they are rich already. I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds in this ratio, 50/50%, equal sharing. Let me kn
I will be hoping to hear from you soon.
H.E. Hamad .s. Buamim
Dubai Islamic Bank