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:
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447045785839 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Lillian Keith" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 07:30:08 -0500
Subject: PLEASE ENSURE TO BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS JUST AS YOU ARE BLESSED.
I am very much aware that I do not know you, but the internet has made the world global villages where you can reach anybody you have not met before. I come in peace and something positive that will affect your life and the lives of others for good, just carefully read and digest the message below.
I am Mother Lillian Keith, 87 Years old woman and the wife of Late Sir Abery Keith who died in a Plane crash on Monday the 7th of September 1998 GMT 14:22 UK while flying from New York to Geneva.
Please see site below for more information.
after the death of my husband I became the Head of his investment and now that I am old and weak. I have decided to spend the rest of my life in my Ranch before I finally give up ghost.
Presently, I have willed out almost half of our assets to several charities homes/less privilege in different countries. I and my late husband also agreed to render support to unknown individuals that we have not met before due to the fact that when we were still young in life we received an anonymous help from an individual we did not know and which we have not being able to know till date, this offer will cost you nothing.
I deposited the sum of £3,800,000.00 GBP (Three Million Eight Hundred Thousand British Pounds) cash with a financial security company here in London in your name that was attached to your email address which I discover in the internet, I did this over four weeks ago but Due to my ill health condition I was unable to send you an email until date.
What you need to do now is to contact the financial security company here in London as soon as possible to inform them when you will be coming for the cash; I have paid the delivering charges, and Security Keeping fee.
You are expected to present to them your valid international passport as a means of identification since they do not know you in person, please contact them as soon as possible to avoid any cost of demurrage.
You have to contact the Manager of METROPOLITAN FINANCIAL SECURITY COMPANY with your below information
Direct telephone number;
A scan copy of your valid international passport
You are also expected to present the security keeping code: (SCT/0433/F) to him for verification and confirmation
HERE IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION OF THE MANAGER
Contact Person: Mr. George Eggleston
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +44 704 5785839
Please do contact him as soon as you receive this email to avoid any further delay, take note I will no longer be reading my emails or surfing the internet as I have retired completely from the outside world to my ranch, at this moment I have nothing to do with cars emails and other luxuries, all further correspondence should be forwarded to the financial security company for the delivery of your cash to you.
Mrs. Lillian Keith