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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Fanzi" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 14:07:03 -0700
Subject: For Your Attention
My name is John Fanzi, a consultant to the government on foreign remittance payment. I am an heir hunter.
Heir Hunters probate detectives looking for distant relatives of people who have died without making a will,
the government last year made over GBP18m from uncliamed assets.
When people die intestate (without a will) and with no known relatives, their names are released by the Treasury.
Every Thursday, a list of these unclaimed estates, the Bona Vacantia ( Latin for "ownerless goods" ) is published on the Treasury Solicitor's website.
The race is then on for heir locators to track down the often distant relatives in line for a windfall. Often heir hunters pick more unusual names first, as they are easier to trace.
After proper verification through records of births, deaths and marriages along with censuses, electoral registers and other documents, and with your email address as the only contact detail on file; it has been approved that you should receive an inheritance payment of $5,000,000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars).
If however, you have received a previous notice about any fund but you have been unable to get your it for what so ever reason, please reply immediately with your name, address and phone number, so that i can process your transaction and facilitate the release of your fund to you within 72 hours.
The bank (UBA) would credit and provide you with an online account through which the funds will be transferred to your nominated account abroad within the next 72hrs.
Heir Hunters have handed over thousands and millions of funds to heirs who have no idea of their fortune,some of them,Holocaust victims'estates,whom some of their heirs tried to flee war-torn Europe,but did any of them survive to claim these fortune ?
I will gladly answer this question for you.
Very Truly Yours
Head of Operations (Claims Heir Hunters)