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 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.
- +447011174235 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447035937924 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr John Watts <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 01:34:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: OFFICIAL MEMO FROM DR JOHN WATTS!
This notification memo has been sent to you three times without a response from you and this will be the last time and I do hope you receive it. This is an unconventional way of relaying an important message such as this. Due to the urgency of this issue, I resorted in contacting you via email and I do apologize if it did not meet up with professional ethics.
This inquiry is about an account holder (Name Withheld) who bears same surname with you and the true position of his deposits at ICB Invest Account. This Investor died and has no successor in title over his fund with the bank amounting to over USD$7,000.000.00.The essence of this communication with you is to request that you provide us information/comments on any or all of the four issues as regards nominating you to inherit the fund left behind by this client.
1-Are you aware of any relative/relation born on the 2nd of February 1951, who bears your same surname whose last known contact address was Ireland?2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at the ICB Bank Limited?3-Can you confirm your willingness to accept this inheritance if you are legally and legitimately appointed.4-Would you agree to donate part of this inheritance to charity if you are officially approved to stand as the inheritor?
It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are familiar with this personality or and your interest towards the issues mentioned. You must appreciate that we are constrained from providing you with more detailed information at this point. We will provide you with additional information upon receipt of your response.Upon your response, our senior consultant Officer will contact you with more detailed information on the deceased client and the process of nominating you to inherit his wealth.
Mr. John V. WattsSenior Consultant officerJW Consultants194 Regent Street, Westminster London, W1S 2XG, United KingdomDirect Phone: +44 70111 74235 Cell Phone No: +44 70359 37924Fax No: +44 70111 74230