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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alfred Lombo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 14:38:17 +0100
Subject: Dear Kellye Bailey.
Dear Kellye Bailey,
I crave your indulgence to kindly attend to this in good faith.I do not mean any disrespect approaching you through this medium;it is due to the time constrained of this matter.
I am Alfred Lombo an attorney to Mr. Roll Bailey,a national of your country who died in a car crash with his family in London on 21st April 2010 and left behind a deposit of ((£8.7million Pounds) here in a bank and I hereby seek your consent to present you as the next of kin since you have the same last name and I have the documents that would confer you the legal right for the claim.Please contact me back if this proposal is acceptable by you; and send to me your telephone numbers to enable us discuss further on this transaction which will be done legally and risk free.Do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you;I await your urgent response.