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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "hugh jone" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:04:52 +0200
Subject: [SPAM] BENEFICIARY
HUGH JONES & ASSOCIATE
Department Head Wills, Trust & Probate
Manchester M3 2BU
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Holt Von Kleist.I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered.
I hereby attempt to reach you again by this as a private seach that we have made to locate you. I wish to notify you that Late Holt Von Kleist made you a beneficiary in his WILL.
He left the sum of Thirteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars(USD$13,500.000.00) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL.
Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job.I hope to hear from you in no distant time.
I await your prompt response and please keep this very discrete and to yourself until the transfer of the funds to you is finalised.
Contact this firm via: email@example.com
Yours in Service
hugh jones ESQ.
PANNONE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS