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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Zhao" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 12:44:58 -0500
I am Zhao Liang-Yu, Principal Assurance Manager in Commercial Bank(Hong Kong).I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information. It concerns a deceased client and an estate he left behind, without naming a beneficiary to a large amount of funds deposited in my bank.
I contacted you so we could partner for a deal in my bank since my client share similar surname with you,in order for me to make you his next of kin and beneficiary to the funds.If it's in your interest to proceed with the transaction, please respond to this email account firstname.lastname@example.org