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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MR Abbott <email@example.com>
Reply-To: MR Abbott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 11:38:22 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Abbott
Dear Friend 11/05/2018.
I am Mr Abbott from Northern Ireland , Currently am working with one of the leading Bank here in London. Am the personal Accountant to Engineer
Louis Steven Coetze,A South Africa,Foreign contractor who has an investment account in the form of family treasure with my bank with a huge sum of money in his account.
He was a chemical consultant contractor with B&G CONSTRUCTIONS COMPANY here in London, (http://www.bandg-construction.co.uk/until his death in a fatal car accident while at France on sabbatical with his entire family. He banked with us. And had a very huge sum of money in his account which has still yet not been
claimed by anybody as there was no living will in place when he died. The amount of involved here was about? 15,500,000USD(Fifteen Million,Five Hundred Thousand US D)in the form of family treasure Golds and Diamond,with indefinite interest. But the fund is stated in our bank blue file as a family treasures in form of Diamonds
and Golds,So i was the only one who knows the content was money. Since his Death;my bank and I have made several inquiries to his embassy to locate any of his extended family members or relatives but this has proven unsuccessful.
My bank has issued me several notices to provide the next of kin or the family treasure or risk been es cheat within the next 14 official working days. The last notice for claim came to my desk last week after the meeting i was instructed by the Bank Manager to move the box family treasure which was stated to the bank blue file
to our bank afflicted Cargo Delivery Company here.I am seeking your consent to present you as the next of kin of my late client ,before they are declared unserviced by my bank and Cargo Delivery Company. We both have to act swiftly on this matter in other to beat the deadline es cheat date. Please get back to me immediately for us to proceed. Be also minded that you are require your ability to travel to meet up with the Agent of the Cargo Delivery Company. We will split the proceeds 50:50 ratio. I require your honesty and full co-operation to enable us see this business come through.
I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate atmosphere that will protect you and me from breaching South Africa Law.Upon your respond i will send you the details of the Attorney who will assist us to secure all the documents in your names and details as the beneficiary to the said Funds. I will bear the cost of the documents upon our possession of the funds we both shall deduct our expenses and the balance will be split.The content of this mail should be treated with utmost confidentiality and a quick response from you will be highly appreciated. I anticipate your co-operation.
Thanks you for your time and do have a great day.