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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kingsley Moghalu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2021 06:42:08 -0700
Subject: Let's Put Heads Together To Make It Work
My name is Mr. Kingsley Moghalu, Please forgive me for stressing you with my predicaments and I'm sorry to approach you through this media because it serves as the fastest means of communication. I came across your Email from my personal search and I decided to contact you believing you will be honest to fulfill my business proposal which I believe that will be a very good opportunity for both of us.I seek your co-operation as my foreign partner and your assistance to enable us to own properties and invest in the economy of your country.I apologize if this letter does not suit your personal or business ethics.
I work as Foreign Operations Manager with a reputable bank here. I am making this venture proposal to you in strict confidence, although the world is a very small place and hard place to meet people because you don't know who to trust or believe,but as I have developed the trust in you i made up my mind to confide this confidential business suggestion to you.
Our late foreign customer who was a contractor for many years with Petronas Oil and Gas Company in Nigeria. a well known philanthropist who died in the Air India plane that crashed on May 22, 2010 as reported:
The flight Took off from Dubai to Manglore India and had a problem while landing on the runway causing the flight to Crash and kill about 158 people.
There where no beneficiaries stated concerning these funds. Therefore your request as a foreigner is necessary to apply for the claim and release of the fund smoothly into your reliable bank account as the Foreign Business Partner to the deceased. The bank is anxious now to know who the beneficiary to the funds is because they have made a lot of profits with the funds. It is more than years now The ($9,320,000.00) has been laying waste in our bank and I donât want to retire from the bank without transferring the funds to a foreign account. The money will be shared 60% for me and 40% for you. There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured everything. I only want you to assist me by providing a reliable bank account where the funds can be transferred.
If you are Willing to work with me as a partner then indicate your interest after that we shall both discuss the modalities and the sharing percentage. All other information to facilitate the remittance of the funds will be revealed to you in due course. If you are not interested,please also indicate so, enable me to contact other foreign partners who might be interested to work with me kindly contact me at once.
Thank you and God bless you.