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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.KWEKU ESSUMAN" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2021 23:10:51 +0100
My name is Kweku Nimfah-Essuman, A Chartered Accountant by profession and
Iâm the new acting Chief Financial Officer.
I know that this mail will come as a surprise to you because we donât know
each other in person but I would need your consent to present you as the
next of kin to our late customer who died in a deadly earthquake in China
in 2014 and he is from your country. He was a wealthy businessman who
deposited Two Million seven Hundred and fifty Thousand United Dollars in
our bank ($ 2,750,000.00) before he died without any registered next of kin.
I was his account officer and have in my possession all the documents
required to present you as his beneficiary next of kin since you share the
same name. I contacted you because you have the same name identity with our
late client and can perfectly fit in as next of kin, We can work together
to claim this fund. Please listen, this is real and goes on in Banks all
over the world without people knowing. Let us utilize this opportunity
because it does not always come. A lot of customers open private accounts
with different Banks without the knowledge of their families and when they
die, such money will be lost to the Bank unless someone comes to claim it.
This is how a lot of Bank directors make so much money silently.
We are going to share the fund into two 40% for you and 60% for me, on your
confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will send you
the bank address so that you can contact them now.
Thanks for your understanding and your positive response is urgently needed.