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)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Daniel Grace" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 03:36:24 -1200
Mr. Daniel Grace
Cater Allen Private Bank
9 Nelson Street
I am Mr. Daniel Grace, the accounting officer-in charge of the private
investment section of the above named Finance house. I have decided to
contact you on a business transfer that requires confidentiality, trust
and transparency, where both of us have a lot to benefit. During my
investigation and auditing in the accounts section, my department came
across a huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person, a foreigner
who died on January 7, 2004 in an auto crash.
This Fund has been dormant in his account in the private investment dept
without any claim to this fund in our custody, either from his family or
relation. The said amount is (7.5 million pounds) which is about
($15million US Dollars). As it might interest you to know, I got your
contact through international business inquiry and my search for a trust
worthy business partner that can handle a business of this magnitude meanwhile
all arrangement to put claim to this fund in your name as the bonafide
next of kin to the deceased, and get the required approval to transfer
this money to a foreign account, have been put in place
However, the next line of action to conclude this transaction in the next 10
working days, will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest
in this transaction. I must also inform you that upon the completion of
this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% for your role and assistance
and 40% will also be for me, while the balance will be used to cover any
expenses this transaction must have cost to have it successful.
Please, you have been advised to keep this to your self since I am still
in service and intend to retire after I conclude this project. I will be
monitoring the whole situation here until you confirm the money in your
account. I shall come down to the country of your nominated account for
subsequent sharing of the Funds according to percentages previously indicated
and further investment. Be rest assured that this is deal is 100% trouble and
scam free. Please send your reply to this email email@example.com
Mr. Daniel Grace.