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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447024053645 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kwam" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 02:01:47 -0700
Subject: CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
I am Mohad I Kwame, presently the current Manager at the National Westminster Bank Capital (Europe) Ltd. I need a reliable and honest person to handle a very confidential transaction, which involves transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account.
A foreigner (LATE ENGR NAZIR RUZU) an oil Merchant /contractor with some companies in TOGO, before his sudden death some years ago in a ghastly author crash deposited with my bank a closing balance of USD$10.2M: which, I successfully moved the money for Safe Keeping with instruction that it MUST be released to the BENEFICIARY [YOU]. However, the bank expects the money to be claimed by the beneficiary as instructed.
Though valuable efforts were been made to get in touch with any of late Engr's relative or next of kin, though (he did not make any person known to the Bank) AS BENEFICIARY, Now the board of directors is making arrangement for the fund to be confiscated and declared “UNRELIABLE” then subsequently becomes Bank's money. However, in order to avert this negative development, that is why, I seek for your permission to PRESENT YOU as the through next of kin so that the fund, USD$10.2M, would subsequently paid into your bank account as the (beneficiary) next of kin. I KNOW HE IS NOT RELATED TO YOU BUT ALL THE DOCUMENT WILL BE PERFECTED TO YOUR NAME AS THE BENEFICIARY.
All documents and proves to enable you get this fund have been carefully worked out and I am assuring you 100% risk free involvement. Your share would be 30% of the total amount. While the rest 70% would be for me which I can invest in your country. Kindly get back to me immediately.
Mohamad I Kwame,