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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Chen Ho" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010 08:18:45 +0800
My name is Mr. Chen Ho, I am a staff of the Bank of China,
Our late client named Ali Jassim makes a fixed deposit
amounting to $ 17,300,000, he did not declare any next of
kin throughout his working paper, I want you, as a Foreign
to stand as the beneficiary of this transfer of funds from
my bank account to your account, after the successful
transfer, we will share a ratio of 40% and 60% for me. I
want to assure you that everything is well planned as we
will do so in line with all legal requirements and
banking. All I need from you is your will, trust and
confidentiality so that we can work together to achieve
Should you be interested please send me your,
1, Full names,
2, private phone number,
3, current residential address,
My Personal Email Address Is: [email@example.com]
Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.
Please do not contact back if not interested.
Mr Chen Ho.