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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "tracking service" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 19:21:28 +0100
Subject: Track You Services
My name is Mrs. Anna Mathew; I work with the Trackingyouservice, a consulting
Firm in London , UK . We are conducting a standard process investigation involving
a client who shares the same name with you and also the circumstances
surrounding investments made by this client at HSBC Bank Plc.
The HSBC Private Banking client died intestate and nominated no next of kin to
inherit the title over the investments made with HSBC Bank Plc. The essence of
this communication with you is to request that you provide us information on
1-Are you aware of any relative/relation having the same surname, whose last
known contact address was Madrid , Spain ?
2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person
at the HSBC Bank Plc.?
3-Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status
of next of kin to the deceased?
It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are familiar with
this personality that we may put an end to this communication with you and our
inquiries surrounding this personality.
You must appreciate that we are constrained from providing you with more
detailed information at this point. PLEASE RESPOND BACK TO MY PRIVATE AND DIRECT EMAIL ADDRESS;
(email@example.com) as soon as possible to afford us the
opportunity to close this investigation.
Thank you for accommodating our enquiry.
Mrs. Anna Matthew
For: HSBC Private Clients.
This is a confidential message from Trackingyouservice