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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "million us 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)
- "time is not on my side" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a 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.
- +447045730851 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Mark Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 21:27:04 +0100
Subject: Urgent Message!!! profitable mutual fund
HTML Generator Sample Page
Standard Trust Security
Company London, England
I am very sorry to intrude into your privacy doe We have not part before
but it has been destined that we shall see one day, I got your
information's through the yellow Online Directory and decided to contact
you as an experienced person in business.
I have worked Standard Trust Security Company London for 21 years as a
Supervisor, I will be retiring come soonest and I have a deal to share
with you if only you can be honest and trustworthy to me without any
doubt. The business demands 100% secrecy and confidentiality till the
money gets to you.
I supervised the warehouse last month and discovered a trunk box valued
at $7.6million US Dollars and this trunk have been there for seven years
as documented in my file and no one has came for the claim up till date.
I investigated and found out it belongs to a national of your country by
the named Mr. Ahmed and this man is dead (Assassinated)
I will want us to work hand in hand like blood relation to claim this
box from the company while I remain insider to direct you on what to do
and the money will be shared equally, I will present you as the next of
kin to the late man, it is a process which we must undergo to actualize
All I need from you is trust and you promised me that you will not sit
on this fund whenever it gets to your care and you will keep my share
until I retired and come over for collection in your country and you
will help me in investing some in a proper business that will yield
Regarding my position in the company I want you to make sure you keep
this transaction TOP SECRET so that I will not have any problem with my
company once I retire and for the safety of this business. Immediately
If you are interested in this transaction I will make arrangement
immediately so that we can map out plans.
I wait to hear from you as soon as possible, but if you are not
interested do not reply me back because I am very desperate now and
needs results as soon as possible.
Note: if you are not interested in this deal please delete this message
and do not reply because time is not on my side now, but if you are
interested give me a call once you reply.
Thanks for your Understanding.
Dr. Mark Williams