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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ray Bell" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 11:09:41 -0700
Subject: RE: NEED YOUR
My name is Mr. Ray Bell, the Overseas Fund Officer of an Investment Bank here in London.
My client, General Daoud Rajha who died recently during the Syria insurgency, made a fixed deposit of Fourteen million, three hundred thousand Pounds in my branch.
From investigations, he did not declare any next of kin. So, I need you as a foreigner to act as the next of kin to get this fund for us because the funds will revert to the UK Treasury if nobody comes forward. My anticipated percentages for sharing shall be fair enough 60% for me, 40% for you.
Please specify by replying to state if you are interested and provide phone to contact you.
Mr. Ray Bell