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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- +448715035681 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Johnson Heade" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:02:47 -0700
Subject: Thanks for accommodating our inquiry
I am aware that this is an unconventional way of relaying an important message such as this. I did try without success to locate both your contact address or fax number and as such, I resorted in contacting you via email.
I am an associate partner in the firm of JH&W Consults Inc, in London, United Kingdom; we are a Private Investigators, Security Consultants and Financial Managers. We are conducting a standard process investigation/Recommendation on behalf of African Development Bank Group (ADB), The African Investment Banking Conglomerate thus will be referred to as our clients.
This investigation is about an account holder (Name Withheld) who bears same surname with you and the circumstances surrounding his investments at ADB Invest Account, the Investment arm of African Development Bank Group. The ADB Private Investment client died intestate and nominated no successor in title over his investments made at the bank amounting to over SEVEN MILLION United States Dollars (USD7,000,000.00). The essence of this communication with you is to request that you provide us information/comments on any or all of the four issues as regards nominating you to inherit the fund left behind by this client.
Your answers and response(s) to the questions raised below will determine our recommendation to the ADB towards legally appointing you to inherit this investment fund after certified investigation has yielded results showing that there is no known relation of the deceased client.
1-Are you aware of any relative/relation born on the 2nd of February 1951, who bears your same surname whose last known contact address was Angola, in Southern Africa?
2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at the ADB Bank Group?
3-Can you confirm your willingness to accept this inheritance if you are legally and legitimately appointed.
4-Would you agree to donate part of this inheritance to charity if you are officially approved to stand as the inheritor?
It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are familiar with this personality or and your interest towards the issues mentioned.
You must appreciate that we are constrained from providing you with more detailed information at this point. We will provide you with additional information upon receipt of your response.
Thanks for accommodating our inquiry.
Mr. Johnson Heade
JH&W Consults Inc
233 Regent Street
Mayfair, London, W1B 2E,
Tel: +44 8715035681