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:
- "million us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Louis Wallner" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 07:11:33 -0800 (PST)
Re: Next of Kin/ Beneficiary for US$20 Million
I am sure this letter will come as a surpise to you, your contact details match my search on the internet and I decided to contact for this deal.
My name is Louis Wallner a staff of one of the leading banks here in Europe and also a member of USA Bankers Association.
Twenty Million US Dollars (US$20,000,000) was lodged since 2000 in our bank and the Beneficiary / Depositor died in 2004 South Asia Tsunami with his family while on holiday in Thailand.
All attempts to trace any of his relatives was not successful. Now, I want you to stand in as Next of Kin/Beneciary of this money since you have the same Last Name with him so that we can share this money together.
30% (6,000,000) and 70% (14,000,000) will be for me, which I also intend to invest in Real Estate business in your Country.
1. First and Last name
2. Complete address and Country.
3. Telephone, Mobile and fax numbers
4. Date of Birth
6. Marital Status and Sex.
Once I receive your email confirmation with the above required details, I will give you all the
details on how we are going to do this deal successfully.
If you are not interested, do forgive me and just delete my email and forget about it. Please do no report or disclose this deal to anyone so that I may not loose my job.
Thank you for your understanding and hope to read from you soon.
Mr. Louis Wallner