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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "RICHARD WALKER ESQ" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 05:15:50 -0400
Subject: RE: READ AND REPLY. 1
With all due respect,
My name is Richard Walker an attorney by profession, in my quest to find a reliable trustee to manage the assets/estate of my late client valued at only $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million US Dollars) this is the reason why you are receiving this email from me.
I shall be willing to supply you with more detailed information concerning this business project upon hearing back from you. I have no intention whatsoever to delve into your private life considering the fact that you have never had any communication with me in the past, but due to the nature of this business project based on the fact that I lack the locus-standee to assume the role of the trustee or appoint any of my relation to become the trustee by virtue of the facts and circumstances surrounding this project, I am left with no other choice, but to carry out a discreet search for a reputable person outside the shores of my country United Kingdom and consequently seek your stewardship to stand as the Deceased Next of Kin. You will be entitle to 40% of the total sum as your share 10% will be mapped out to offset any expenses both parties might make during the course of this transaction while 50% will be for me.
If you wish to render your selfless service, but very rewarding, do provide me with the following information's.
1. Your full names
2. Tel & fax numbers
3. Complete Address
4. Your occupation and your Age.
I shall provide you with more detailed information upon hearing from you. If this transaction interests you kindly send your reply on this my personal email address: email@example.com
Inconvenience is regretted.
Richard Walker Esq.
Walker and associates