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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Edward James" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 07:57:04 -0700
Subject: Still waiting to hear from you
I have emailed you earlier without a response.In my first email I mentioned about my late client whose relatives I cannot get in touch with. I am compelled to do this because I would not want the bank to push my clients funds into the bank treasury as unclaimed inheritance.
Please this mail is written and intended to solicit your assistance to be presented as the HEIR to my Late Client since you are a foreigner and only a foreigner can lay claims on this inheritance $5,200,000USD. The Governing Body of the Bank has contacted me on this matter and I am yet to provide the HEIR to lay claims to the Fund. Under a clear and legitimate agreement with you,I shall seek your consent to be presented as the HEIR so that my late Client's fund will not be Confiscated by the Bank and pushed into the bank treasury as unclaimed bills.
For the sake of Transparency on this matter,you are free to make immediate contact via my mailbox email@example.com for further clarification and explanation on this matter. I will need you also to reconfirm your Full Name: Marital Status: Address:contact telephone number to ascertain the fact that I am dealing with the right person.
Thank you very much for your anticipated acceptance while we expect your prompt response to this matter as the urgency demands.
Edward James Esq
2 St Aldates Courtyard