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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "George Morris" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 21:06:35 +0100
Subject: URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL
I am writing to seek your consent to present you to our bank as a
Beneficiary to the funds of my client "Late Roger Ian Wright" who died
in a plane crash. Late Roger Ian Wright left behind Capital amount
(US$35.7M) in the bank here where I work, only if you are interested.
My name is Mr. George Morris. I was his account manager/
Family friend, legal/financial adviser. All documents involving the
money in our bank is in my possession and that makes it easy for me to
include your names as his legal and approved Beneficiary to the funds.
Till date no body has come forward or put claim for the money in our
bank and moreover all his direct family where involved in the Plane
You can confirm from this website:
Should you be interested to work with me in this project, I can make you
his legal beneficiary and the next of kin to the money he deposited into
our bank which will enable our bank to release the fund to you. Once the
money has been released to you by our bank, I will immediately come down
with my family to meet you for sharing. our sharing ratio will be 40% for
you and 60% for me. Kindly get back to me only if you are interested to
work with me for more information and guideline. and also please contact me
through my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org with:
1. Your Full Name:............
2. Your Phone Number:..........
3. Your Age:....................
4. Your Sex:...................
5. Your Occupation:............
6. Your Country and City:....
Awaiting your kind reply soon.