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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mike Whitley" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2013 15:51:06 -0800
Subject: To the attention of the Receiver
To the attention of the Receiver:
RE: FINAL WILL AND TESTAMENT
My name is Mike Whitley from Prime Financial Services U.K. Ltd. I was instructed to contact you by the Trustees and Executors of Late Jimi Heselden's estate for the immediate wire transfer of your inheritance sum of US$48,800,000 from his FINAL WILL AND TESTAMENT.
For more information, please visit:
Kindly get back to me as soon as you receive this letter. Note that we have tried to reach you previously and the letter were returned undelivered, therefore I hereby try to reach you again on this same email
address hoping to reach you as we wish to hear from you urgently.
NB: If you are not the owner of this email address, please ignore and delete this letter ASAP and we apologize for the wrong contact.
Prime Financial Services U.K. Ltd
2nd Floor, Offices C-E,
14 Middleton Gardens
Middleton, M24 4DF