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:
- "dear friend" (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: "PATRICK CHOW" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 16:27:20 +0800
Subject: REQUESTING YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE! TEST
My name is PATRICK CHOW,am a Singaporean citizen and a seasoned Banker in Malaysia (Berhad office), I occupy the position of an accountant in this branch office, it is with good spirit of heart I opened up this great opportunity to you. A deceased client of mine, that bears the same last name as yours, died as the result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December2004 in Sumatra Indonesia .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake for more information.
My late Client has a deposit of twenty one point three million dollars (US$21. 300, 000, 00 Million Dollars) left behind I contacted you so I can present you as my late client next of kin, so the money can be transferred to your account, and we will share it together, Please reply immediately with your information including your full name, full address and telephone number for easy communication with you. I await your prompt response immediately,