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:
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Caroline Flint" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:33:42 +0200
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT
I am Caroline Flint Director of bills/exchange at the foreign remittance
department of Morgan Stanley Bank. In my department, I discovered an
abandoned sum of GBPÂ£82,308,000.00 (Eighty Two Million Three Hundred And
Eight Thousand Great British Pound Sterling) in an account that belonged
to Late Mr. Erik Byske from Taastrup Denmark, who died along with his
wife Annett Byske, in May 2016, in a road accident. Since we got the
information about his death, I have been expecting his next-of-kin to
come over and file a claim as next of kin over his money because we
cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or
relation to the deceased as indicated in our Security guidelines.
Unfortunately, nobody has come forward to claim this money. It is based
on this I decided to establish a cordial business relationship with you,
hence by contacting you. I want you to present you as the next of kin to
Late Mr. Erik Byske, so that the funds can be remitted into your
account. Moreover, I do not want the money to go into the government
account as unclaimed bills. The Security law and guidelines here
stipulates that any account abandoned or is dormant for a period of
years, is deemed closed and all money contained therein forfeited to the
government treasury account.
Now, it is being speculated that the above sum will be transferred into
the government account as an unclaimed fund on or before the end of this
financial quarter of 2020, when nobody comes forward to lay claims. The
reason for requesting your assistance is occasioned by the fact that the
deceased (Late Mr. Erik Byske) was a foreigner, and I have access to his
detailed data which we will hold as a weapon to present yourself as the
next of kin to the deceased estate/capital.
The mode of sharing after a successful transfer of the money into your
account, shall be 50% to me and for the role you will be expected to
play in this deal, I have agreed to give you 50% of the total sum,
Therefore, you are expected to reply this letter indicating your
readiness and interest to participate in this business. After receiving
your reply, you will be communicated with the exact steps to take. I
expect your urgent response and I shall contact you for further
discussion on this matter, to enable us to conclude this transaction
urgently without any delay or hitch. Please treat this business proposal
as strictly confidential for security reasons considering my official
position in this bank.
I expect to hear from you urgently: