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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: ames Aji-Aberra" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 05:31:02 -0700
It is with delight I send you this message.
I have a business deal and I want your assistance.
I was a former chief financial officer with Duncan Lawrie, A United Kingdom based Wealth Management Bank and Fiduciary Agents.
Duncan Lawrie, after many years of business, was liquidated and sold to rival wealth management consortium also based in the United Kingdom.
The new management has acquired 70% assets and liabilities of Duncan Lawrie with its overseas investment valued at USD$735,000,000,00 (Seven Hundred and thirty five Million United States dollars) only.
Until this moment, Duncan Lawrie still has unclaimed depositors funds which has been turned over to investment financial institutions, financial settlement secured facilities and fiduciary agents to process, reconcile and pay to beneficiaries.This includes a single deposit of $12.200,000,00 (Twelve Million, Two Hundred Thousand United states dollars) only which has remained unclaimed. All efforts to find the would be depositor has been unsuccessful.
In my capacity as former CFO at Duncan Lawrie, I have decided to divert the $12.2 million for mutual benefit. This is the deal and my reason for contacting you.
I have all necessary prerequisite information to achieve this goal. What I need is your consent, readiness and willingness to receive the funds as next of kin. I will provide you requirements and mode of process to actualize this payment in your favor as next of kin.
Kindly note that this is very confidential information and I will appreciate that you equally keep it absolutely confidential.
Please note, this shall be a risk free transaction and shall not contravene any law as it shall be done by direct B2B swift transfer.All relevant documentations shall be processed and procured in your favor as beneficiary next of kin with my advice to support your status.
I am willing to share these funds in two equal parts 50/50 after tax.
At your request, I will email you more details.
Thank you very much and I await your response..