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:
- "million 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Bailey" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2019 00:25:04 -0700
Subject: How's Family !
UBS Global Asset Management
Aeschenvorstadt 1, 4051 Basel
Thank you very much for your prompt response, Now that you have given me the nod to explain, First I would like to introduce myself, I am Mr. Andrew Bailey, Principal Officer Private Banking Dept of the Swiss Bank Corporation (UBS) Basel, Switzerland. I am getting in touch with you regarding the Estate of a deceased client with same last name and an investment placed under our Bank management 12 years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this email confidential and respect the integrity of the information you may come by as a result of this email.
In 2006, this Beneficiary came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of US$11 Million United State Dollars, which he wished to have us invest on his behalf. Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our first 12 months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at this point at over one million euros. mid 2009, he instructed that the principal sum (US$11M) be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in Barcelona, Spain. We got in touch with a specialist Bank in Spain (Banco Santander) who agreed to receive this money for a fee and make cash available to him. However Banco Santander got in touch with us 3 months ago that this money has not been claimed.
On further enquiries we found out that he has died of heart attack, which means he died intestate without next of kin. I am writing you because you share the same last name. What I propose is that since I have exclusive access to his file, you will be made the beneficiary of these funds. My bank will contact you informing you that money has been willed to you. On verification, which will be the details I make available to my bank, my bank will instruct Banco Santander in Spain to make payments to you. You do not have to have known him.I know this might be a bit heavy for you but please trust me on this. For all your troubles I propose that we split the money in half. In the banking circle this happens every time. The other option is that the money will revert back to the state. Nobody is getting hurt; this is a lifetime opportunity for us. I would want us to keep communication for now strictly by email.
Given the sensitive nature of this claim, I wish to inform you that should you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my official email account.
My official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy. Please observe this instruction religiously.
I am a family man, with children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained, that success and riches never come on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients.
Do not betray my confidence. for more details reach me through your Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions feel free to ask me I will be working on your behalf.