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: "Sylvester " < email@example.com >
Date: 25 Nov 2016 12:17:04 -0600
Subject: Partnership request!
Dear firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Please pardon me for contacting you in this manner.I wish to
share a personal business opportunity with you. I have contacted
you because you share the same last name with a deceased client
of mine who died as the result of a heart-related condition in
February 2015. All my efforts to contact any of his family or
relatives proved impossible as he mentioned no one but my very
self to his bank and a security holding company as his referee
and personal attorney.
I have contacted you by virtue of your last name to assist me in
claiming the money left behind by my client before it is
confiscated. My proposition to you is to seek your consent and to
present you as a relative and next-of-kin to my late client,
since you share the same last name with him. The bank has written
me twice on this matter and have made it abundantly clear that I
provide the kin to thier late customer to receive the deposit
left behind. If you agree to work with me we shall share the
money on a mutually agreed-upon percentage and donate a tangible
amount to charities.
All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-
kin will be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation
and partnership to enable me see this transaction through and I
assure you that everything will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect us from any breach of the law.
However If this business proposition offends your moral values,
do accept my apology and forget I ever contacted you, but if you
are interested and willing to assist me then please Contact me at
once to indicate your interest and confirm your last name to me
so I am sure I contacted the right person for this business.