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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Waziri Wong" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 10:28:58 +0800
Subject: Urgent Assitance
Waziri Wong & Co.
18th Floor, Bangunan Arab-Malaysian
55 Jalan Raja Chulan
Kuala Lumpur 50200
I am Waziri Wong, an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, that shares
the same last name as yours died as the result of a heart-related condition
on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all the
members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in
Sumatra Indonesia . And in the record there is no known successor to this
deposit of the deceased who died without a will.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake) I have
contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind before it is
confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued
at Five Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ( US$ 5.300,000) is lodged.
The bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the account
will be confiscated. I will like you to acknowledge the receipt of this
email as soon as possible and treat with absolute confidentiality and
sincerity. I look forward to your quick reply
Attorney At Law