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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Christopher Harrison" <Dr.Christopher@consultant.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 17:47:11 +0200
Subject: Confidential Business Proposal
How are you today? I hope fine, I am Dr. Christopher Harrison from
Harlesden, North West London, here in England. I work for HSBC Bank
London. I am writing you from my office which will be of a great immense
benefit for both of us. In my department, being the assistant manager
(Greater London region), I discovered an abandoned sum of $16.5 Million
Pounces (Sixteen Million Five hundred Thousand Pounces and sterling) in an
account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Mr. Moses Saba,
a Jew from Mexico that was a victim of a helicopter crash early this year,
killing him and family members. Saba was 46-years-old. Also in the chopper
at the time of the crash was his wife, their son Avraham (Albert) and his
daughter-in-law. The pilot was also dead.
The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature Of
where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of the transaction and
the confidentiality herein, Now our bank has been waiting for any of the
relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that, I personally
has been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for 1 year now, I seek
your consent to present you as the Next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the
deceased so that the proceeds of This account valued at 16.5 Million
Pounces can be paid to you.
This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% to me and 40%
to you, I have secured all necessary legal documents that we can used to
back up this claim we are making. All I need is to fill in Your names to
the documents and legalized it in the court here to prove You as the
legitimate beneficiary, All I need now is your honest Co-operation,
Confidentiality and Trust to enable us see this Transaction through. I
guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please, provide me the following: as we have 5 days to run it through,
This is very, very URGENT PLEASE.
1. Full Name:
2. Your Telephone Number:
3. Your Contact Address:
5. Core job/Occupation:
Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you Hoping
that you will find this proposal interesting, Please on your Confirmation
of this message is indicating your interest will furnish you with more
Endeavour to let me know your decision rather than keeping me waiting.
Dr. Christopher Harrison