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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Veronica Bright" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 17:52:11 -0800
Subject: Mrs Veronica Bright
Mrs. Veronica Bright
Bank Of East Asia USA(NA)
San Gabriel Branch
168 West Valley Boulevard,
San Gabriel, CA 91776, USA
You may wonder why I am reaching out to you in spite of friends that I have known
for years, the singular reason is that I have by the very nature of this proposition
and the required confidentiality decided to deal with a person that I have not known
before so that we can develop the trust and execute this transaction without a third
person knowing.I would not have used this medium (Internet) but I chose to reach you
through it because it is the fastest, surest and most
secured medium of communication.
However, this correspondence is un-official and private, and it should be treated as
such. I also guarantee you that this transaction is hitch free from all what you may
I am Mrs. Veronica Bright of The Bank of East Asia USA, San Gabriel Branch,
California (USA) I am contacting you based on Trust and confidentiality that will be
attached to this transaction. The Management and the Legal department of our bank in
a recent meeting recommended that the account of MR. DAVID ANGELLl, who was one of
my branch depositors, should be declared Dormant, confiscated and the depositor's
fund sent to the Bank Treasury according to American Banking and financial law.
Mr. David Angell and the wife died in world trade center as a victim of the
September 11,2001 incident that befell the United States of America. The bank has
made series of efforts to contact any of the relatives to claim this money but
MR. DAVID ANGELL is an account holder in my branch; he owns a dollar account with
the sum of 3.2M (Three Million, two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
Only) deposited in a Secret account with my branch .In fact, since his death, no
next of kin of the account holder nor any relative of him has shown up for the
claim,this is because he has the account as a secret account thus he left all the
documents for the deposit with me. The wife whom he signed in as his next of kin
died with him on that fateful and sad day.
This is where I am interested and where I want you to come in. I want you to come in
as the relation of the deceased; I will give you the relevant documents and contacts
to file the application and then effect the approvals for the transfer of the funds,
I will be the one to provide the vital documents for the claims of the money and
then advise you exactly how we should handle it.
Please include your telephone/fax number/ Home address when replying this mail and I
will give you more information as soon as you indicate your willingness to assist in
this transaction. I will use my positions to get all internal documentations to back
up the claims. Do not be bothered that you are not related in any way to him as I am
in position to affix your name as the next of kin. The whole Procedures will last
only 9 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully without trace even in
future. After the transfer of the money we shall share the money 70-30, which is I
will have 70% while you will have 30%.
Kindly respond promptly so I can advice you on the next step to follow.
I will be waiting to hear from you.
Mrs. Veronica Bright
Bank Of East Asia (USA)
Response to My Private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org