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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "KEITH OVERLANDER" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 13:02:18 +0100
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF BEQUEST.
NOTIFICATION OF BEQUEST
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Prof Roger
Michael Needham. I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter
was returned Undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this
Same email address on the WILL.
I wish to notify you that late Prof Roger Michael Need ham made you a
beneficiary to his WILL.
He left the sum of Fifteen Million, One Hundred thousand United States
Dollars to you in the Conductibility and last testament to his WILL.
These may sound strange and unbelievable to you with the current upsurge
in cyber crime and the likes, but it is for real and true.
Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in
the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous
friends abroad who wished you good.
Prof Roger Michael Needham, an engineer/Computer scientist who worked
as Director, Microsoft Research limited, Cambridge before he died on 1st
March in the year 2003 and was patron of the Royal Academy of
Engineering and also member of various societies and organizations.
He was a very dedicated Christian who loved to give out. His great
Philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time one of which
was the Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Late Roger Michael Needham died on the 1st March in the year 2003 at
the age of 68 years, and his WILL is now ready for execution. According
to him this money is to support humanitarian/philanthropic activities
and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as
I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable
me conclude my job. I hope to hear from you in no distant time.
In your response, please provide the following information.
FULL NAMES AND ADDRESS
TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBER
The requested information shall enable me authenticate the ones in the
WILL and my file.
I await your prompt response.
Yours in Service