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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Wong Kim Loong & Co <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 06:58:17 +0100
Subject: Read And Get Back To Me If You Are Interester
Wong Kim Loong & Co
SOLICITOR AND ADVOCATES
27 Jalan lagenda,
I am Wong Kim Loong, an attorney at law.
I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my
client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where
this deposit valued at Seventeen million five hundred thousand dollars(
US$17.5 million dollars) is lodged. This bank has issued me a notice to
contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated.
As earlier stated until his death was an oil contractor and lived all his
life here in Malaysia, but unfortunately died intestate i.e without a will.
My late client grew up in ?Motherless Babies Home?. He had no family, no
beneficiary nor next of kin to the inheritance amount left behind at his
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the
next-of-kin and beneficiary of my named client, since you have the same
last name, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. Then
we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal
documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will be
provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this
This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you
from many breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your
moral values, do accept my apology. I must use this opportunity to implore
you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary
confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response.
Please contact me at once to indicate your interest. I will like you to
acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail as soon as possible via my private
EMAIL : (firstname.lastname@example.org) and treat with absolute
confidentiality and sincerity. I look forward to your quick reply.
Wong Kim Loong
Attorney at Law