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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jonathan Mathe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 07:56:47 -0700
Subject: Take it.
I know this might come as a surprise to you considering the amount of junk emails we all receive on a daily basis. I can assure you that I am not one of them; I would appreciate it if the content of this email is kept strictly confidential.
I have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction and the current financial situation of the world at the moment.
A brief introduction about me, I am Mr. Jonathan Mathe, a bank manager here in the UK. I have worked here for a little more than 16 years. I am contacting you concerning an abandoned account in the sum of £10million Pounds. I was the account manager to the late Mr. Philemon Juan Smith, a foreign contractor to the department of works and housing who has an investment account with our bank. Late Mr. Philemon Juan Smith died without any named beneficiary or a WILL to the account.
According to practice, the Private banking sector will by the end of 2022 broadcast a request for statement of claim to my Bank, failing to receive viable claims they will probably revert the deposit to the ownership of the UK Government Treasury according to United Kingdom Banking and financial law.
I am proposing that after a successful execution of the business deal, the funds will be shared in the ratio of 50/50. You will get 50% and I will be entitled to 50%. You know that I must have done my homework already before contacting you. Although the project is CAPITAL INTENSIVE,
I know we will be able to pull it through following proper banking and legal Channels with your assistance at your end by standing as the next of kin/Business associate to late Mr. Philemon Juan Smith. This claim will be executed without breaching any UK laws and success is guaranteed if we cooperate on this. The bank will release the account to you as the business associate and my recommendation of you as the business associate to the deceased.
An opportunity like this only comes once in a lifetime and I think we need the fund (10million Pounds) to take care of ourselves and family.
I would like you to think about this and let me know your decision because such a deal happens in the banking industry but only the outside world is not aware. If you give me a positive response, I will give you the relevant INFORMATION for the successful completion of this deal and we both enjoy it in peace. All I require from you is honesty/sincerity; I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion.
Mr. Jonathan Mathe.
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