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 state 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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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: "Mr. Chun Liang Qi" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2018 08:54:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Urgent Proposal
From: Mr. Chun Liang Qi (Senior Accountant)
Foreign Investments and Corporate Banking Department
HSBC Bank Argentina S.A
With due respect,
My name is Mr. Chun Liang Qi. I am originally from Peoples Republic of China, but currently working with HSBC Bank Argentina SA. I have been working here for 9 years and I have a good working record with my bank.
I work in the Foreign Investments and Corporate Banking Department and I am the personal accountant to Mr. LAWTON ROBERT from Australia who was a foreign contractor with Petro Gas Inc, Argentina.
Its heartbreaking that my client Mr. LAWTON ROBERT and his wife Mrs. LAWTON CATHERINE were on board of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that disappeared and crashed on the 8th of March 2014 killing everybody on board. May their soul rest in perfect peace; you can read more about the crash on this website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370.
Before the tragic plane crash that took their lives, my client Mr. LAWTON ROBERT executed a contract with Petro Gas Inc Argentina and received a contract payment sum of $15, 500.000.00 (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) which he deposited into his Foreign Investments Trust dollar account with my department.
For your confirmation, I have attached copies of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passenger list which I got from Malaysia Airline office during my desperate search for my client and you can see the name of my client and his wife on the passenger list at number (64) LAWTON/CATHERINEMRS and (65) LAWTON/ROBERTMR for you to be very sure of my proposal and you can confirm this passenger list from any of the Malaysia Airline office in your country.
I am compelled to transfer this fund because of the financial laws of Argentina, at the expiration of six years the funds will be revert to the ownership of Argentina Government and I feel it would not have been the last wish of my late client for his whole life work to be transferred into Government treasury which he had always complained of their unfavorable taxes while he was alive.
Due to my client and his wife has no child, I am seeking your permission to upload your name on my bank database stating that my client Mr. LAWTON ROBERT incorporated your name as his business associate/partner to his account and transfer the fund to your designated bank account as equal partners and hence I work inside the bank this transaction is guaranteed.
All I require from you is honesty and I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. My only fear is for you to be honest to me that the fund will be safe in your account until my arrival in your country.
At the conclusion of this transaction, we may precede into Real Estate investment as equal partners because I will be visiting you shortly after you have received the fund into your bank account or we may share it in a ratio of 50% for your participation and 50% for me.
If you give me concrete promise that you will carry out this transaction with me and keep it as top secret, then I will initiate this process towards a conclusion. I am willing to send you my Bank staff ID or my International Passport copy for you to know me better as soon as I get your response.
I will also print and send to you the account statement of my late client with the outstanding balance as proof for you to see the available balance in the account. I anticipate your cooperation because such deal happens in the banking industry but only the outside world is not aware.
Treat this proposal with utmost confidentiality and urgency for a 100% success and I believe that this transaction will bring a long lasting relationship between us.
I wait your urgent positive response to precede with the execution arrangements.
Regards in Sincerity,
Mr. Chun Liang Qi (Senior Accountant)