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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Christopher Jen." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 19:25:03 +0100
Subject: I Solicite Your Kind Assistance.
l am Mr. Christopher Jen (Esq.) Attorney and secretary to my late client of Gulf stream crude oil. Prior to his unexpected death on 17th sept 2008 deposited $40.5M USD on trust with a Bank. Eventually, he was shot by gunmen and since his death, nobody has Apply for the claims of his estate as the next of kin.Becasue he died intestate.
It is a situation I have monitored closely. Now having monitored this deposit and managed it over the years before his death and hence nobody has showed up as the next of kin for the past years.
I now solicit for your assistance to present you as the next of kin as every other arrangement has been concluded by me. I am only waiting for a foreigner to take possession of the deposit. There is no risk attached to it as the entire document required for claims will be obtained legally by me as his proxy.
I cannot make claim regarding the funds, all I have to do is to donate somebody as his next of kin and beneficiary to make claim of the said fund for us to share as Partners. I therefore request you to confirm your interest by a return message and I will forward details and more information on how to go about the subject matter.
To facilitate a rather more secured link with you, kindly indulge me with the following:
1). Full Names, sex and Address
2). Telephone, Fax and Cell phone numbers.
This project is ready for execution as soon as I hear from you. I look forward to your swift response to this letter.
Christopher Jen. (Esq.)
Principal Partner (Christopher Jen & Associates)