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.
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "STANDARD.CLAIMS.ENQUIRY." <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 16:42:44 -0400
BL2 3EU, UK
My name is Mr. Robert Rice. I work as an executive partner for the firm
Finance Advisory Services Ltd. U.K.
We are conducting an end of year consolidated financial statement for the
year ending.2008 under conjunctional agreement with Hsbc conglomerate
banking giants. This notary enquiry involves a client who shares your
surname and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this
client at Hsbc Private Bank offshore group a commercial and investment
arm of the parent Bank. It was brought to our knowledge that the
aforementioned client died in testate and nominated no next of kin to the
title over the investments made with the Bank.
We came to know of you via the London Global Database Center (L.G.D.C.)
Hence we are making this contact. The essence of this communication with
you is to assist us in our investigation by providing us with information
you may have regarding this inquiry on any of the 3 KEY issues.
1. Are you aware of any relative/relation whose last contact address
was in the united kingdom?
2. Who shares a similar name?
3. Who' date of birth on file was 27/07/1946?
Thank-you for your co-operation and best regards
Mr. Robert Rice.
Finance Advisory Services Ltd,