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 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gerhard" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 11:46:51 -0700
Subject: Good Day
My name is Gerhard, a Germany based Lawyer. I hope you get my message this time and respond. I am offering you a lucrative business to act as the next of kin to my client who died intestate. I want to present you to the bank as the only surviving maternal relative and this gives us 100% opportunity. I was the personal attorney to Dr. Imran Waheed, a German/Pakistani national who worked with one of the leading Oil & Gas company here in Germany.
Dr. Imran Waheed made a fixed deposit of fund valued at USD6,000,000.00 (Six Million Dollars) with a Bank and unfortunately lost his life in a Bhoja Air crash Boeing 737-200, registration AP-BKC performing flight B4-213 from Karachi to Islamabad (Pakistan) with 121 passengers and 6 crew members on board on April 20th 2012 as you can read on the following links:
He left no clear beneficiary as Next of Kin except some vital documents related to the deposit that are in my possession.
Recently, the governing body of the Bank contacted me on this matter, requesting that I should notify the next of kin of my client to claim the funds and I am yet to provide any. I know that my client had no living next of kin but I went ahead and made several inquiries to his embassy to locate any of his extended relatives but this has proved unsuccessful. Therefore, under a clear and legitimate agreement with you, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin so that, this funds will not be confiscated by the Bank.
You and I can share this money, you will be entitled to 50% of the total funds for your role, while the balance 50% will be for me. Be informed that there is no risk involved because all the legal documents that will back you up as the true and only surviving maternal relative will be procured by me.
All I require is your sincerity, honesty, co-operation and utmost good faith to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach of law.
We can both use this money to better the lives of our children instead of been confiscated by the Bank. Great opportunities like this never come twice. Be rest assured that in approximately 2 weeks, we should be through with this project if we dedicate our time to it.
I want you to consider my offer and send me your full contact information such as
(1) Full Names:
(2) Mobile Number:
Do not forget that a project of this magnitude requires utmost confidentiality and sincerity. Please if you are not interested delete this message and do not disclose it to anybody I beg you in the name of God.
I look forward to your urgent response.