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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Santander Bank Uk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 03:23:16 +0000
Subject: Reply 13/07/2020
Dr. Diane Roberts
Santander Bank Plc,
London United Kingdom
I am Dr. Diane Roberts, from Harlesden North West London, Head of Accounting Audit Department and formal senior programmer manager at Deutsche bank, here in England (Santander Bank Plc). I also worked for the Newest Ministers Bank Plc.
I am writing you about a business proposal that will be of an immense benefit to both of us. In my department, as the only Operations/Regional Manager Santander Bank Plc. I discovered a Sum of (£21,500,000,00) British Pounds (Twenty one million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds) in an account that Belongs to one of our foreign customers (Late David McDowell Brown) an American citizen of Arlington Virginia, through the southern United States space shuttle Columbia, He died a single man.
The choice of contacting you aroused from the geographical nature of where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of this transaction and the concealment here-in. Our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that and i personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives. Hence you have similar email, I now seek your consent to present you as the next of kin (WILL BENEFICIARY) to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at (£21,500,000,00) British Pounds can be paid to you.
Nevertheless, this will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 50% to me and 40% to you while 10% is for any expenses incurred during the transaction. I have secured all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this claim we are making. All I need is to fill in your name(s) to the documents and legalize it in the court here to prove you as the legitimate beneficiary.
All I require now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and Trust to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, I shall process claim in your name. I only require you send your valid identification details and I will authenticate the claim in your name.
Provide me the following below, as we have 7 days to run it through. Its very URGENT.
1. Full Name:
2. Your Direct Mobile Number:
3. Your Contact Address:
Thanking you in anticipation of your important reply.
Dr. Diane Roberts