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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (India Times, India; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rajan Berry"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 09:34:03 -0800
Subject: Sir J. Paul Getty Jr. (INTRODUCTION)
70-72 PARSONS GREEN LANE
I am writing you this mail with the purpose that we go into partnership. I am a solicitor Sir J. Paul Getty Jr., a philanthropist who passed on with a sum valued 39.9 Million USA dollars out of the records of his written will. I have all the powers/privileges as his solicitor and do want to file the legal documents for the release of the money to you as the next of kin. I wish to state that my reason for contacting you though we have not met is because I have been in the legal industry as such has no business experience nor managing charity home. Besides with the brief profile of yours in the internet, I feel that you will be capable to handle this project of great trust and benefit for the two of us. Therefore, I will rely on you to assist me in the charity home and possibly in investing my share in real estate.
Out rightly, the money involved is quite a huge sum as you know. I do propose that we use 20% for charity work, then 80% should be shared on the percentage to be agreed between you and I. I am of the suggestion that we have the 80% divided equally between the two of us, that is you will have 15.84 million US dollars while I will have 15.84 million US Dollars. The source of the money, I had stated this in afore that a deceased client of mine Sir J. Paul Getty Jr., had proposed that the money be used for charity, unfortunately, before he died we did not make a written statement to this effect in the will.
In your reply Please include:
1. Your full names
2. telephone+ mobile phone
5. Marital status
With this information I will file the preliminary claim and estate execution order so that we can start the legal process I will commence the probate documentation immediately I receive your details. PLEASE SEND THE ABOVE INFOMATIOMA TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL ASSDRESS:: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rajan R. Berry