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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Paul Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 08:44:47 +0100
Subject: Final Notification Next of Kin/Relative
l wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of $14,600,000.00USD (Fourteen million Six hundred thousand United States Dollars) in the intent of the deceased (name now withheld since this is my second letter to you). I will present you as the beneficiary to the inheritance since there is no written "will". My aim is to present you to Bank Management (Employers) as the Next of Kin to our deceased client. I will guide you all through the Claim procedure by providing all relevant Information and guiding you in your decisions and response to the Bank Management. All the papers will be processed after your acceptance, forward the following- your telephone numbers, date of birth, occupational status and a forwarding address to enable me submit to the Bank Management the details as the Next of Kin to the deceased Account owner.