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 free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. frank Kwame" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr. frank Kwame" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 20:05:59 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: Hello Friend
I hope my letter meets you in good health. I'm Mr. Frank Kwame, an exchange employee with a sec. firm here in Accra-Ghana. I've contacted you due to your location as compared with one of our late Client's Assignment of Lien holder/Beneficiary. I wish to humbly request your help in protecting the client's interests and benefits he left with the firm before it is declared unserviceable and foreclosed. My intention is to kindly seek your consent and perhaps to present you as the Grantee/Legal Lien Holder to the depositor so that the deposits can be secured and transferred to any safe location we agree upon.
All legal documents to back up this process will be provided to you for official Notary purpose at your local Notary Office. Please note that all procedures will be executed under legitimate process that will protect us from any breach of the local and international law.
I will further disclose more of the information to you on receipt of your positive response indicating your sincere interest.
Mr. frank Kwame