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.
- 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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 "Yukos oil" scam. The criminals who send such emails have no connection to Yukos Oil. The emails are usually sent from Nigeria. The only money that ever changes hands in this scam is from you to the criminals.
- 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: "From:Jeremy Khoza" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2022 10:47:51 +0200
Email address at: email@example.com
KINDLY TREAT THIS INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL
Before I proceed, I must first apologize for my unsolicited mail to you. I
am aware it certainly is not a conventional way of approach to establish a
relationship of trust, but you will realize the need for my action. My name
is Jeremy Khoza, and I am the head of the Accounts Audit department with a
reputable bank in South Africa.
I would like to share this confidential deal and opportunity with you, with
the hope that we can both work together for its success and mutual benefit.
This golden opportunity came up during our bankâs periodic audit of
accounts. In the process I discovered huge unclaimed funds (USD49Million)
in the domiciliary account of one of our late bank customers. Our bank is
currently re-profiling and consolidating all accounts to meet the central
bank's regulations. In terms of our bankâs policy, all dormant accounts
must be re-profiled and funds transferred to our bank's suspense account by
December 2022, if a beneficiary profile is not filed for claim before that
date. Against this backdrop, my proposal to you is to present you to our
bank to re-profile the account, claim and transfer of the funds to your
overseas account for our benefit.
It is within my authority as the Accounts Audit manager in the bank to
lodge-in your profile for re-profiling as the beneficiary of the account
and funds, regularize and approve vital paper works that will be
recognized, accepted and approved by our bank, and officially place you as
the account beneficiary. Then you can request the bank to transfer the
funds to your bank account overseas. This opportunity will be beneficial to
both of us and I have worked out all modalities to secure a successful
completion of the transaction.
Note that this transaction is 100% risk free and there are no risks or
obligations for any unsuccessful claim. I guarantee that it will be
executed under a legitimate arrangement without any breach of the law
either here in South Africa or elsewhere. Once the transfer is completed to
your account, I will travel to meet with you and we will share the funds in
the ratio of 50% for me, and 50% for you as your benefit. I urge for your
full cooperation in this deal, and also to maintain an appreciable level of
commitment and confidentiality, especially considering my position in the
bank. The transfer will be done officially and in the most secure manner
while observing all standard banking procedures.
Kindly let me know if we can do this deal together, and reply to my private
email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upon receipt of your response declaring your interest and cooperation, I
will provide you with more working details and my private telephone number
to expedite our communication. Should you be able to cooperate and assist
to actualize this deal, please be kind to inform me as a matter of urgency.