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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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. Koffi WIlliam" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 18:05:27 +0100
Subject: Re: Hello Dear
My name is Mr. Koffi William a banker holding the post of the Audit & Accounts dept. I am the personal account manager to late (Dr. George Brumley) who was involved with the family in a charter plane crash July 2003 with all his family members on Mount Kenya see the CNN report http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/07/20/kenya.crash/index.html
After the incident, we have made several efforts to trace the extended relatives but we were unsuccessful. It was during my personal research to this effect I came across your email on the internet and decided to contact you as this particular interest is about the deceased account balance with our bank where he has a summary balance of $7,500,000.00 and since his death, nobody has come forward to lay claims to this money and recently my bank issued a notice that the account will be declared Unserviceable and the funds called to the government treasury since no relative of the deceased customer came up. In order to avert this negative Action I therefore seek your consent to present you as the next of kin, so that the proceeds can be paid to you and we can both share the Money. All I required is honest cooperation and punctuality to enable us seeing the deal through. It is rest assured that this transaction will be executed with legitimate arrangements that will protect you an
d me from the breach of law.
Please if you are truly disposed and capable of handling this transaction from your end contact so that we can discuss much in details when I receive your response. Kindly signify your willingness to assist by sending me an e-mail only at Kwilliam25@gmail.com for further procedures relating to this transaction.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Mr. Koffi William