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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "30% for you " (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 27 May 2019 19:14:00 -0700
Subject: Good Day
My name is Mr.Eric Zan, financial manager with HSBC Private Banking, I contact you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. A client who shares the same last name with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at HSBC Bank Plc.
The HSBC Private banking client died intestate and nominated no next of kin to inherit the title over the investment made with HSBC Bank Plc. My proposal; you share similar details to the late fellow; I am prepared to instruct the Security Consultancy firm to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you in half .I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. I and my colleague and you shall share the proceeds. I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement with claiming the deposit. But on the other hand, you with the same surname as the original depositor would easily pass as the beneficiary or next of kin with right to claim. I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within a few days. I will simply inform the bank of the final closing of the file I will then officially communicate with the Security Consultancy firm and instruct them to release the deposit to you.
With these two things all is done. The alternative would be for us to have the Security Consultancy firm direct the funds to another bank with you as the account holder. This way there will be no need for you to think of receiving the money from the Security Consultancy firm as it is not a conventional financial institution; they accept deposits from only organizations thus; what you hand over to them is what you get back. They do not have the means to process the money.
It might interest you to know that the mount involved in this transaction is £18,450,000.00 (Eighteen Million Four Hundred and fifty Thousand great British Pounds Sterling Only) and the sharing sharing formula is 30% for you the beneficiary, 60% for us and 10% for expenses.
We can fine-tune this based on our interactions. I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because
you do not approve of my proposal.
I await your response.