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: "Taylor Williams " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 00:29:55 +0700
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal
ethics. I am writing following an opportunity in my office that will be of
immense benefit to both of us. One of our accounts with holding balance of
£15,100,000(Fifteen Million One Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling)
has been dormant and has not been operated for the past 8 years.
From my investigations and confirmations, the owner of this account a
foreigner by name Christian Marty (Concorde pilot) died in Monday, 31 July,
2000 along with other 109 families in an AF4590 plane crash and since then
nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money because he
has no family members who are aware of the existence of neither the account
nor the funds.
I have secretly discussed this matter with a staff the bank and we have
agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with. I only have to
approve you as the next of kin/will beneficiary and the fund will be paid to
you as the beneficiary. We are to share this money between ourselves and
also donate 10% to charity if you are really interested in this offer you
should contact me.