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: Prime Investigations <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 20:28:32 +0100 (CET)
My name is Susan Brick; I work with the Prime Investigations, a consulting Firm in London, UK. We are conducting a standard process
investigation involving a client who shares the same name with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at HSBC Bank.
The HSBC Private Banking client died intestate and nominated no next of kin to inherit the title over the investments made with HSBC Bank. The
essence of this communication with you is to request that you provide us information on three issues:
1-Are you aware of any relative/relation having the same surname, whose last known contact address was Madrid, Spain?
2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at the HSBC Bank?
3-Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status of next of kin to the deceased?
It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are familiar with this personality that we may put an end to this communication with
you and our inquiries surrounding this personality.
You must appreciate that we are constrained from providing you with more detailed information at this point.PLEASE RESPOND BACK TO MY PRIVATE AND
DIRECT EMAIL ADDRESS; susan.brickPrimeInvestigations@post.com as soon as possible to afford us the opportunity to close this investigation.
Thank you for accommodating our enquirer.
Ms Susan Brick
This is a confidential message from Prime Investigations