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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: George Henskey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 14:14:58 +0000
Subject: My Request,
Mr. George Henskey
Chief Auditor &
P.O. Box 10720
217 Strand England WC2R 1AP
NATWEST BANK PLC, ENGLAND.
My Name is George Henskey and I have a pressing development in the Bank I work with as the Chief Auditor & Chartered Accountant, Natwest Bank Plc England. I want your assistance and guideline in receiving into your Foreign Account the Sum of thirty five Million Five hundred thousand Pounds and ( £35 Million.500.000.00) GBP on our behalf. The money belongs to our deceased Customer of which it has taken several years now we have been waiting for his or her Next of Kin to come forward for the claims.So far no body have shown face and after rigorous investigations,we found out he died by Air Crash together with the Son who supposed to inherit the Fund. Already he divorced his wife several years before this incident.We keep carrying over this Fund. every year immediately it comes to the period of declaring Bank Statements. We just finished declaring last years 2011 Financial year Statement by 31st December and have made up our mind to transfer the Fund out for our mutual benefit.This is a deal three Head of Departments in the Bank is aware of and I was mandated to get someone who is trustworthy and honest who can assist us receive the money into his or her account abroad as I said above.
To be brief, this is what I want to tell you and if you can do that for me,then contact me immediately,so that I can give you the modalities and your percentage for rendering such services.
Happy New Year and God Bless you,