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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 Petters" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 20:49:35 +0100
Subject: I seek your consent on this.
International Finance Corporation
Private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Raymond Petters, Security Manager to International Finance Corporation. We are conducting a standard process investigation on behalf of the International Banking Conglomerate.
This investigation involves a client who shares the same surname with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at "IFC Group", the Private Banking arm of International Finance Corporation. The client died in testate and nominated no clear successor in title over the investments made with the bank. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail private and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.
You share similar details to the late fellow and for that reason this mail is written and intended to solicit your assistance as I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50.
For the sake of transparency in this matter, you are free to make immediate contact with me through my confidential email: email@example.com once I get your positive response to this email, I will initiate you with a detailed email on the process towards a conclusion.