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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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: "Mr. John Adams" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr. John Adams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2018 05:08:00 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Good day dear
Good day my dear
I wish to intimate you with a request that would be of immense benefit to both of us. My name is Mr.John Adams auditing and accounting section, foreign remittance department to one of the leading bank in Africa with due respect and regard. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction. I got your email contact from your countryâs business director, which i decided to contact you regarding a business proposal.
Please I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response.
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a huge sum of $20m belongs to a deceased customer from Chinese who was one of the victim of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) which crashed in the south of the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014 on the way from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport killing all on board.
Since his untimely death, the bank has been waiting for the next of kin to come for the claim of his funds valued at $20m, having gone through underground search for his next of kin, which i personally have failed in the search for his relatives.
I seek your consent to present you to the bank as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$20m can be paid to you. Then we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal documents to back up your claim as the next-of-kin will be provided. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us to execute this great business opportunity.
Further note that this transaction is 100% risk free, i and my partner had concluded all the whole underground works for a successful transfer of this fund into a foreign account before we contacting you, to present you to the bank as the real bonafide next of kin to the deceased customer.
This business will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from all breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apology. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 50% of the total sum as gratification, 1% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer, while 49% will be for me and my partner.
Kindly treat this business with to confidentiality.
I wait to hear from you for further directives, stating your wish in this deal.