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:
- "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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Shah Young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 10:27:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Goodnews For You
We wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of £15,600,000.00GBP (Fifteen million Six hundred thousand British pounds) in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. (Name now withheld since this is our second letter to you).I contacted you because you bear the same surname with the late client therefore you can be present as the beneficiary/Next of kin to the inheritance of the late client.
I therefore reckoned that you can receive these funds as you are qualified by your surname name identity.
All the legal document will be process in your name after I receive a reply from you that we can work together in this
deal, so I request that you forward to me the following information:
Your three names in full:
Your current telephone and fax number:
With your details the Attorney will be able to file in all the necessary documents at the high court probate division for the release of this sum of money to you without any delay.
You are entitle to 50% of this money while I will also take 50%, Note that this funds will be deliver to you In United Kingdom in person OR by Bank wire transfer, depending on the mode you choose to receive the funds.
Please get back to me for more information.