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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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)
- "million 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)
- 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.
- +447011152526 (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: "Larry H" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 17:11:00 -0500
Subject: Personal contact
Lansdowne Capital Ltd
21, Upper Brook St,
We are a private finance and investment firm based in the Uk Our
Primary aim is to secure our clients funds and to ensure that it is wisely
Invested in safe and non speculative projects that would yield maximum returns
And less tax. In all instances, Most of our client may request some
Confidentiality especially if they are serving or retired public
Servants as is the case with this client of ours Mr. Hubert, who
Died without any WILL and till date nobody has been able to locate any of
His relatives despite several enquiries. The deceased had an asset account
Valued at Ten Million US dollars.
Personally I suspect he must have died from one of these natural disasters
Unfortunately this man has no will to his inheritance in London, United Kingdom.
I have made every effort to trace his relatives via every means available
or any member of his family but of no avail.
The security/financial company have issued a notice of claim for the
Next of Kin to come forward or the deposit is reverted to the state. I have
Been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over two years thus seek
Your consent to present you as the next of kin,
So that the proceeds of this account valued at ten million Dollars
Can be paid to you, for us to share.
All necessary documents to back up claims as Next of Kin on your behalf
Will be processed through the Probate office here in London by my attorney. I
Guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
That will protect you.
Please get in touch with me through my private e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , to enable us discuss further.
Mr. Larry Henderson