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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Kevin Watson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 15:25:23 +0000
Subject: In tears...pls show some care!
My name is Kevin Watson, aged 17yrs & the only son of Mr. Andrew Watson. Before My father passed away he told me to contact you if anything happened to him that you will help me, so i wanted to know please if you are the friend of my father? I have inheritance from my late father which i desire your assistance in receiving the inheritance in your country for investment while i come over to further my education and begin a new life, I will be glad to give you fifteen percent of the total inheritance for your assistance.
Truly i do hope you are going to honestly accept to help me considering my situation and security, couple with an uncontrollable crisis around the country as you must have heard over the news, my life is no more protected here. I confided on your assistance and write with every respect due to your good person and ask that you assist me to get the inheritance on my behalf as my late father's foreign associate to your country for investment. Please if you are willing to assist me, indicate your acceptance by sending me your full name, address and direct telephone contact so that I can give you a detailed explanation on the inheritance.
Thanks in anticipation. Kevin