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: "Smith Adams" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:32:18 +0100
Subject: Urgent Inheritance Matter
I trust this email finds you well!! With due respect, trust and humility let
me start by introducing myself. I am Smith Adams . I have emailed you
earlier on without any response from you. On my first email I mentioned about
my late client Randolf , whose relatives I cannot get in touch with. But both
of you have the same last name so it will be very easy to front you as his
official next of kin. I am compelled to do this because I would not want the
bank to push my clients funds into their treasury as unclaimed inheritance. If
you are interested you do let me know so that I can give you Comprehensive
details on what we are to do.