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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "this business is hitch free " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Johnson Cole" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2021 05:09:09 +0000
Subject: The chief auditor (H.S.B.C Bank South Africa).
HSBC Bank plc - Johannesburg Branch
(Johannesburg Office South Africa)
Private Bag X 785434
The chief auditor (H.S.B.C Bank South Africa).
I know, this letter will come to you as surprises as we never meet before. My name is Mr. Johnson Cole, the director in charge of Chief Auditing and Accounting Unit of HSBC BANK South Africa I and my colleagues, hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confidant that am about to introduce to you for the mutual benefit of our both families. I am writing in respect of Mr. Hashim Abdullahi of a foreign customer of our Bank who perished long with his next of kin with Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, flight number 801with the whole passengers on 10th of March 2019, Open and view the website: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=18&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjt-Yq9s8PiAhXkRxUIHXKKDV4QFjARegQIARAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FEthiopian_Airlines_Flight_302&usg=AOvVaw03ayFM7HD3yJ5gVNMcICqJ
Since the demise of this our customer, I personally has watched with Keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds of £20.000.000,00 (TWENTY MILLION POUNDS), which has been with our branch for a very long time. On this note, I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the Next of Kin since nobody is coming for the fund again. In view of this I got your contact through the Internet when I was making a research on a foreigner that I will use in this great opportunity because I dont want the money to be recalled to our Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. I have also agreed to offer you 30% of the total sum and the rest 70% will be for me. The reason for a foreigner in the Business is for the fact that the deceased man was a foreigner and it is not authorized by the law guiding our Bank for a work's or board members of this bank to make the claim of the fund. So the Request of you as a foreigner is necessary to apply for the release and transfer of the fund smoothly into your reliable Bank account as the Surving Relation to the deceased. If you are really sure of your integrity, trust worthy and confidentiality, and accept not to cheat or disappoint me after this business.
I will send you by fax or e-mail on the next procedure to follow in other to execute this transaction. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch free and dont have any negative impact. You should not entertain any fear as all modalities for the smooth and easy transfer of this fund has been finalized, this transaction will be completed within 14-bank working Days immediately we start the business. Waiting for your urgent response and please kindly delete if you are not interested. Email me with this Private mail :( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Johnson Cole