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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Ken Gabriel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 15:21:29 +0700
Subject: Your reply
I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business. Though,
this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, but i choose to reach you
through it because it still remains the fastest medium of communication.
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal
ethics. I knew that this mail will come to you as a surprise, but please
do not be discouraged with my proposal.
My name is Ken Gabriel I am an attorney. A late client of mine shares a
similar name as yours, he died as the result of a heart problem in 2004.
His heart condition was due to the death of three members of his family
which left no one as the next of kin. I hereby contacting you to assist me
as the beneficiary in receiving the funds he left behind before they
confiscate and share it board of directors of the Financial
institution. The Finance company has issued me a notice to contact the
next of kin, or the account will be confiscated.
My dear I want to present you as the sole beneficiary of my late client so
that the huge amount ($9M) can be released. Then we can share the
All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will
be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see
this transaction through one heart. This will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Due to the fact that I am still in active service with my firm I must
use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the position as the
next of kin to the deceased and to keep this matter extraordinary
confidential. I will like you to
acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail as soon as possible.
Waiting for your positive response.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.