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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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 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: "Mr.Randy Chow Angelo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2010 23:08:24 +0800
Subject: Personal accountant to an expatriate engineer.
Mr.Randy Chow Angelo.
100 Jalan Tun Perak,
50050 kuala Lumpur
Direct Tel: +60102153712
I am Mr.Randy Chow Angelo,Personal accountant to an expatriate engineer who share the same last name as yours. I discovered your email and information via guest book so I decided to contact you. I am contacting you in respect to an inheritance fund valued at ($19.5 Million united states Dollars) belonging to my late client who died as the result of a heart-related condition on 12th of March 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of his entire family member on the 31st of July 2000 with German Concorde Plane AF4590 that crashed into the Hotelissimo. Visit this website for details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm.
Our newly appointed director of the Bank has ordered that we should compile the list of dormant account. As a christian, I have decided that instead of loosing the whole money to the Bank, I will rather donate the money to any charitable organization in your country such as motherless home,the blind and deaf and some other related organization.This is why i am seeking your consent to present you as the only surviving relative of my late client for the claim of the fund.
All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. If this business proposition offends your moral values, please do accept my apology. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise your utmost indulgence to keep this transaction extra-ordinary confidential, whatever your decision, Please contact me immediately to indicate your interest in this matter.
With Warm Regards,
Mr.Randy Chow Angelo.