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:
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Benjamin Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 03:38:56 -0000
Subject: CONTACTED YOU ALONE
I am very sorry for sending you this letter through this means without a pr-notification or through other secured means of communication.It was as a result of the urgency of this message that prompted the action. My name is Dr.Benjamin Johnson,a member of British School of Royal Art & Culture.
One of my closest friend by name Dr.George Brumley, a national of your country, a renown neuron surgeon who until his untimely death resident here in United Kingdom.He died along with his entire family in a plane crash that took place in Kenya,East Africa on there way to vacation in Africa. You can confirm the story through this site:http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/07/20/kenya.crash/index.html
Since then I have made several inquiries through the Embassy to locate any of his extended Relatives, but this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family; hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the fund of $6.8 Million (USD Dollars) he had deposited with a bank here in UK before the ugly incident. I want your assistance in this regard before this deposited fund gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the firm because the fun has over stayed the seventh year (7yrs)constitution stipulation of a dormant account.
Right now,the bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin within the next 21 working days, or have the fund confiscated.Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for few months now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased, so that this fund could be released to you and we will have reputation to negotiate on a business been favorable.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and me from any breach of the law.
NOTE: All correspondence between you and I should be made through this email address for security reasons and also indicate your private contact information like telephone, mobile phone, fax numbers for easy communication.
I look forward to receive a favorable response from you.
Dr. Benjamin Johnson (Rtd ) BA . MA . PhD.
Fellow Royal school of arts & Culture London,United Kingdom.
Cell Phone: +447-92404-9552
Home Phone: +44703 5995260