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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Jason Flatt" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:45:55 -0000
My name is Jason, a Trader, Auditor, Mentor, Investment Manager, Logistics Expert and General Business Man. I contact you in respect of establishing a business relationship with you.
There is a certain amount of money that belongs to me. I intend to take the money out of Germany to another location and bring back the money on a later date for investment and my own personal use. I made this money in the course of auditing a big Oil Firm in Germany and discovered this money as some excesses.
When I discovered these funds, I discussed the issue with the Company's accountant General as well as their personal relationship banker/adviser. This company in question is a very huge company and has been doing business for a very long time, since 1950s.
In the course of genuine business over this period, the money described above has been floating in the banking system and was recently made known to the Company's Accountant General by me. The Company's Accountant General has been a close friend of mine over time. I've been one of this company's Official Auditor General for over 25 years.
You may now understand why we need to sanitize this money by having to take it safely out of the country before spending it. Here's our plan, we intend to get a neutral individual who is willing and able to receive this money in form of investment funds to be used by the individual in infrastructural projects, real estate investment or trade etc.
This is just to get the funds out of The Bank where it is presently, to the receiver's bank only. However, the deal is that the funds would be shared into 4 equal places and each of us would be entitled to equal parts of the funds after you receive. I'm talking about Me, You, The Company's Accountant General and The Senior Officer at The Bank who is their personal relationship banker/adviser.
We do not require any complicated paperwork or lawyer agreements etc to get this work done. Our agreement would be between 4 of us only as we require utmost confidentiality in this matter. You do not have to tell your bank the details being given in respect of these funds. All we require from you is your willingness and ability to receive the funds in question.
With all these in place, The Bank will initiate wire transfer of the funds to your account. We expect that we act according to the agreement we shall get to in respect of this. This isn't a risky operation or money laundering. Its just a simple opportunity which we intend to exploit using an absolute stranger.
Let me know if this is something you would like to be a part of. If you have any questions, please ask. We would be very glad to move forward on this immediately but require utmost and absolute confidentiality. I'm very willing to furnish you every information you might require so long you promise not to betray privileged information getting to you as a result of this communication.
Thanks for your time. I await your response.
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