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.
- 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.
- 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: "Mr.Fredrick Stone" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 21:40:36 -0800 (PST)
Subject: UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
WORLD DEBT RECOVERY COMMITTEE
98540 EAST OLYMPIA
UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
I am Mr. Fredrick Stone of the newly inaugurated World Debt Recovery committee (WDRC).My committee has a mandate to recover unpaid debts associated with NNPC contracts,Lottery fund, inheritance fund, loans and grants etc ranging from $1M-$19.5M owed to various beneficiaries and companies across the globe (Asia, Europe, USA, Africa, and Australia) and submit the list of the unpaid beneficiaries/companies to the 2 appointed official paying Banks for immediate payment of the fund.
In the course of our investigation, your email address/particulars were shortlistedamong the first fifteen individuals yet to be paid hence this email. However, we received a petition today from one Mrs. Christina Morgan that you are dead. According to her, you died in a plane crash as such your fund should be paid to her as the apparent heir. She has also submitted her Bank account with Bank of America for the transfer of the fund to her.
To avoid undue delay or paying the fund to wrong individual/beneficiary, I have decided to contact you for confirmation. If I fail to hear from you after 72 hours, it will be assumed that the petition of Mrs. Morgan is true and the fund will be paid to her without further delay. Therefore, if you are still alive, reconfirm your particulars,
(1) Your full name.
(2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) company's name, position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.
5) Copy of int'l passport or any scanned identity to prove yourself.and how you want
your fund paid to you immediately for the attention of the paying officer. response to my email address: email@example.com
Mr. Fredrick Stone