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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. THERESA ANKA" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2011 01:16:04 +0100
Subject: For Your Very Attention
I am senior a staff worker with a bank here in Spain, I need your assistance in repatriating the funds left behind by a late customer that died with his entire family before it is declared unserviceable.
Every attempt to trace any member of his family has proved unsuccessful and abortive.
I contacted you because we can therefore present you as the beneficiary to the inheritance since there is no written will. I will give you more information upon your response to this.
I would request that you keep the content of this mail confidential and the integrity of the information as important. I contacted you as an independently proposal outside the bank i work. My Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Theresa Anka