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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: law firm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 15:56:52 +0800
Subject: GET BACK TO ME
I'm a legal practitioner Associates in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia. i found your contact/profile some where over the internet and it gave me the greatest joy,that you are the one I have been looking for in a claim of inheritance. Whom I strongly believe could execute this transaction with me. I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my deceased client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank. This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated. kindly get back to me for more information.
Law Firm Associate (Esq.)
Attorney At Law