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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kenneth Duke" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2018 23:25:29 -0500
Subject: Urgent Response Needed
I am a staff of HSBC Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I am writing following an opportunity in my office that will be of immense benefit to both of us. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of $4.2million, In an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Mr.Paul Louis an American who unfortunately lost his life in the Tsunami disaster in Thailand 2005.including his wife and only daughter.since I got information about his death, I have been expecting his next of kin or relatives to come over and claim his money because the bank cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.
Unfortunately I learnt that his supposed next of kin being his only daughter died along with him in the Tsunami disaster leaving nobody with the knowledge of this fund behind for the claim.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I decided to make business with you to enable the Bank release the money to you as the next of kin or beneficiary of the funds for safety keeping and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and I don't want this money to go back into Bank treasury as unclaimed bill.
The banking law and guidelines here stipulates that such money remained after all these long the money will be transferred into banking treasury as unclaimed funds. I agreed that 30% of this money will be for you as foreign partner, 10% will be use to upset expenses that might incure on the cost of making this transaction a success while 60% will be for me. Please note that all necessary arrangement for the smooth release of these funds to you has been finalized.
Mr. Kenneth Duke.