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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million us 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Powerball Lotto" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2021 10:18:57 +0100
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL, AWAIT YOUR RESPONSEBUSINESS PROPOSAL, AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE
From Rev Samuel Berhan
Western Associate Bank.
Boulevard General Jacques 2673 G,
1050 Brussels, Belgium.
My name is Rev Samuel Berhan, I am from the Republic of Mauritius. I live and work in the UK. I work with Western Associates Bank at their offshore department in London UK. I will be pleased to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are capable of keeping this a TOP SECRET and handle a huge amount of funds with legal back up documents.
During one of our periodic audits last month I discovered dormant accounts with holding balances of Three hundred and Twenty million US Dollars, Sometimes a person will open a bank account, deposit money, and then disappear into the tin air. Banks are not always able to find out what has become of these silent customers, or to know whether they should follow up on requests from people who claim to be heirs to the accounts. The main problem is that the customer resides abroad and, due to bank secrecy, the bank cannot publish notices in the international press to locate the depositories. This has led the majority of Swiss banks to refrain from opening small-deposit accounts for foreign customers.
The Reason I am contacting you today is because one of the dormant accounts with ($320,000.000.00) Three Hundred and Twenty Millions US Dollars has the same last name as yours, and this will make it very easy for documentation and approval, do not be worried as I will be in control of the whole document that will backup the immediate transfer of funds to any of your nominated bank account.
It has happened in the past, however, that customers pass away and their heirs can neither prove the death, nor their heir ship. This was a frequent occurrence during the wartime periods, and the banks have now set up a simple, rapid resolution procedure operating to their customers' advantage. Dormant assets are defined as any assets deposited with a bank (i.e. an account, a custody account or a safety-deposit box) for which there has been no contact with the customer in the bank's files for the last ten years or more. If you believe you have claim to a Swiss bank account for which the holder (e.g. an ancestor) has not been in contact with the bank for over ten years, there is a fairly simple procedure to follow, depending on the date the account was opened this account has not been operated for the past years. As at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this business until your response is received.
If you know that you are capable of handling large or small amounts on trust and can keep it secret and ready to take 40% of the total fund transfer into your account from the dormant accounts and I will take 60% and if this business proposal is acceptable to you, then send your account information by return mail. Tell me more about yourself, while I look forward to receiving the above information.
Please you are advised to write me through my private email address below
I want to re-assure you that this business is risk free and you can send an empty account to receive the funds, provided that the account is capable of receiving incoming funds.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Rev Samuel Berhan.