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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Jose Martinez" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 08:05:53 -0700
Subject: Good Day
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we have never met before, but need not to worry as I am contacting you independently of my investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of $11.3million immediately to your private account.The money has been here in our Bank lying dormant for years now without anybody coming for the claim of it.
I want to release the money to you as the relative to our deceased customer (the account owner) who died a long with her supposed NEXT OF KIN since 31 January 2000. The Banking laws here does not allow such money to stay more than 13 years,because the money will be recalled to the Bank treasury account as unclaimed fund.
By indicating your interest I will send you the full details on how the business will be executed.
Please respond urgently and delete if you are not interested.
Mr.Jose Martinez .