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 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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- me immediately for further details, on this email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org best regards, james murdock (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "James Murdock" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 16:13:46 -0800
I want you to carefully read this message and get back to me. I am James Murdock , I work for Sxcoems Corporation as finanical adviser I am contacting you base on the fact that a deceased client of mine died as a result of a heart-related condition in 2009, leaving a deposit value of US$17.7 million dollars behind without any known Relation or Next of Kin so making him his deposit with us Instate.
The bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin or a relation to her and in her file, the next of kin is a 10% of her money to a charity and the remaining balance of her deposit she intended to nominate the beneficiary before she died but unfortunately she died without doing so .
My proposition to you is to seek your consent and to present you as the next of kin and beneficiary of my late client Deposited funded. Contact me immediately for further details, on this email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org