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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447031967201 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "RAYMOND SMITH" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 14:54:18 -0700
Subject: CONTACT ME
SMITH CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS
BRIDGE END WALTHAMSLOW
London E17, United Kingdom,
Tel: +44 (0) 7031967201
Fax:+44 (0) 7005942658
This is a personal email directed to you and I request that it should be treated as such. I am Raymond Smith, a solicitor at law.
I am the personal attorney/sole executor to the late Mr. Mark Ginsberg who died in a car crash with his immediate family on the 17th of Nov 2006. Since the death of my client in Nov, 2000, I have written several letters to the embassy with intent to locate any of his extended relatives whom shall be claimants/beneficiaries of his abandoned personal estate and all such efforts have been to no avail. More so, I have received official letters in the last few weeks suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of his abandoned personal assets in line with existing laws by the security company in which my client deposited the two trunk boxes as consignment in it is the sum of 8.370m GBP. The board of directors of the company now adopted a resolution mandating me to provide his next of kin for the claiming of this deposit within the next 15 official working days or forfeit the consignment as an abandoned Deposit. The company had pl!
anned to invoke the abandoned prop
By virtue of my closeness to the deceased and his immediate family, I am very much aware of my client's financial standing. I do sincerely sympathize the death of my client, but had thought it unprofitable for his funds to be submitted to the federal government of this country and the finance company where it is lodged. I have reasoned very, professionally of which I feel it will be legally proper to present you as the next of kin of my deceased client, which is legally possible and would be done in accordance with the laws of the land. On this note I decided to search for a credible person and contacted you for partnership, I was urged to contact you, and with your consent to present you to the Security company as my late client's surviving family member so as to enable you put up a claim to the security company in that capacity as a next of kin of my client, so that the proceeds of This consignment deposit valued at Eight Million Three H!
undred and seventy Thousand Britis
Upon the receipt of your reply, I will send you by fax or E-mail the next step to take. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the completion of this releasing the consignment to you. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me through my alternative for better confidentiality and send to me your telephone and fax numbers to enable us discuss further about this transaction. Like I said, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this. Please let me have your opinion as soon as possible for my contact number is +44 7031967201, and If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you, I await your urgent response.
Give me a call at your earliest convenience.
Raymond Smith (Esq.)
009 44 7031967201
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org