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.
- 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 Adams Scott" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2010 02:39:30 -0000
Subject: Deceased Relative !
From: Mr Adams Scott
ACER Consultants Service Ltd.
This is a confidential message from ACER Consultants: private consulting firm in London, United Kingdom.
I have been directed to contact you with regards to ongoing investigations involving a deceased client of Royal Bank of Scotland. The client, who shared the same last name with you, died intestate so it is standard and mandatory that a next of kin be sought who may inherit the estate. Kindly clarify the following:
- Are you aware of any relative of yours whose last known contact address was Zurich, Switzerland, with investments of considerable value with Royal Bank of Scotland?
- If you answered yes to the above then can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status of next of kin to the deceased?
Understand that we are at this point contstained to share more details of this matter with you. We will need to hear from you urgently and hope you can assist us in bringing this inquiry to a conclusion.Please respond to my private email [email@example.com] as soon as possible to afford us the opportunity to close this investigation. Thank you for accommodating our enquiries.
Mr Adams Scott
ACER Consultants Service Ltd
For: Royal Bank of Scotland.
364 Windbridge,London Uk.