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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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: "Franco" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 00:59:49 +0100
Subject: Seeking Your Due Consent.
Firstly, I apologize for sending you this sensitive information via E-mail.
In my banking department i discovered an abandoned sum of 13,000,000.00 EUR (Thirteen Million Euros Only) in an account
that belongs to one of our Foreign customers who unfortunately lost his life with his entire family on his way to the
Airport of Madrid.
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin or relatives to come over and claim
his funds because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as Next of kin or relation
to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.
I want you to come in as the Next Of Kin, all needed cooperation to make the claims will be given to you by me.
If you are interested kindly let me have the below informations and I will give you more details.
1. Full name
2: Your private telephone and Fax numbers.
3. Occupations and Nationality.
4. Date of Birth
5, Present Location
I am offering 45% of the total sum to you as my partner.
We will discuss much in details when I receive your response. Direct your reply to my private emaill: email@example.com
Thanks and good luck to us.
Mr José Francisco Domínguez Franco