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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: James Owen<email@example.com >
Date: Sun, 02 Feb 2020 04:59:47 +0200
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL !!!
I know this email might come as a surprise to you considering the amount of junk emails we all receive on a daily basis. I can assure you that this email is authentic and I would appreciate if the content of this letter is kept strictly confidential and respect the integrity of the information.
Nevertheless, I have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction. Let me start by introducing myself, I am Mr. James Philips Owen, an account manager in one of the bank here in United Kingdom. I have worked a little more than 15 years now. I am contacting you concerning an abandoned consignment containing the sum of £10 million British Pounds. I was the account manager to Late Mr. Philemon Juan Smith, a foreign contractor with department of works and housing who has an investment account with my bank; I encouraged him to consider various growths of funds with prime ratings, then he invested £10million, based on my advice, we were able to spin the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for the first few months of our operation. The accrued profit and interest plus capital amount to £17,352,110 (Seventeen million, three hundred and fifty two thousand, one hundred and ten British Pounds). In mid-2007, he instructed that the principal sum of (£10M) be liquidated and made available in cash because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payment of (£10M), we however assisted him and made the cash available in a consignment for him.
After few months; the management of my bank sent several notice to inform him about the cash but without response, on further inquiries we found out that my client was poisoned by the same people he wanted to do business with, that made him to request for cash payment for the business. He died without leaving a WILL and several efforts were made to find his extended family but without success. Because of the sensitive nature of private banking, most customers do not nominate next of kin in their investment, also usually in most cases leave their WILLS in our care, in this case; the deceased client died intestate. It is quite clear now that our dear client died with no identifiable family member. According to practice, the Private banking sector will by the end of the year of 2020 broadcast a request for statement of claim to my Bank, failing to receive viable claims they will probably revert the deposit to the ownership of the UK Government Treasury department according to United Kingdom Banking and financial law.
I am proposing that you stand as the business associate/next of kin to the late deceased (Mr. Philemon Juan Smith) and after a successful execution of the business deal, the funds will be shared in the ratio of 50/50. I want you to know that I have done my home work already before contacting you. Although the project is CAPITAL INTENSIVE, i will be able to pull it through following proper banking and legal Channels with your assistance on your end. This claim will be executed without breaching any UK laws and success is guaranteed if we cooperate on this.
An opportunity like this only comes once in a lifetime. I would want you to think about this and let me know your decision because such deal happens in the banking industry but only the outside world is not aware. If you give me a positive response, I will give you the relevant INFORMATION for the successful completion of this deal and we both enjoy it in peace. All I require from you is honesty/sincerity; I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion.
Kindly treat this proposal with utmost confidentially and urgency for a 100% success.
Mr. James P. Owen