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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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)
- "consignment " (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 united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "JK Associates Legal Firm London." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 05:35:30 -0800
Subject: From: JK Associates Legal Firm London..(Reply)
Reply to: email@example.com
My sincere apology for this unsolicited letter to you, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust but you will realize the need for my action. My name is Mr. James Kurunt, of J K & Associates Legal Firm, here in London, United Kingdom . Actually, I got your contact information through the world public record while searching for a person of interest to work with me for the claim of the deposit of my late client, Engr. Fred Dickson, who was a private oil consultant/contractor with the Shell Petroleum Development Company, for Thirteen years, before he died along with his family on a boeing-737 crashes on landing near the central Russian city of Perm, killing all 88 passengers and crew members on board, this occurred on 14 September 2008.
Before his death, he deposited One Trunk Box/Diplomatic Personal Treasure, containing the sum of USD$15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million United States Dollars) with a security company but he did not disclose the exact content of the deposited diplomatic box to the security company for personal reasons. The security company has mandated me to present a member of his family (heir/inheritor) to make Claims, before the box gets confiscated and reverts to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, as unclaimed. So I decided to search for any of my late client's relative which has been very difficult for me, as he did not declare any other person, address, partner or relatives in the official paper for his diplomatic box.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that you stand in as the next of kin to my late client. By virtue of my position as his personal Attorney; I will now place your name as the next of kin to my late client. I will prepare every relevant document that will assist and guarantee your claims, and facilitate the release of the fund consignment to you.
Note that this transaction is 100% risk free, there is no single risk connected to this business as I have worked out all modalities to complete the transaction successfully. Once the fund deposit is released to you, we shall share same in the ratio that will be
acceptable to both us.
If this business proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apology. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extra-ordinary confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response.
Please contact me at once to indicate your interest.
Principle partner JK Associates Legal Firm London.