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: "Mr.Munnny Spheap," (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2012 01:28:18 +0700
Subject: GOOD DAY,
Please, kindly take your time to understand the content of this email. I wish to introduce you to a transaction that would be of immense benefit to both of us. Being an executor of wills, it is possible that we may be tempted to make fortune out of our client's situations, when we cannot help it, or left with no better option.
The issue I am presenting to you is a case of my client who willed a fortune to his next-of-kin. It was most unfortunate that he and his next-of-kin died on the same day in an auto-crash few years ago. I am now faced with indecision about who to pass the fortune to. However, I don't belong to that school of thought which proposes that the fortune of unlucky people be given to the government. I therefore seek for your assistance in presenting you as next of Kin to the deceased so that you can inherit funds worth millions of dollars for our sharing.
Please give your response to this email via return email. I will give you comprehensive details when I hear from you and how we can handle this together.