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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- alternatively contact me on my private email address:email@example.com thanks for your cooperation. sincerely, dr.francis (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: File Payment <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 04:28:47 +0800 (CST)
Subject: RE: COMPLIMENT OF THE SEASON DEAR FRIEND
Indian citizen made a fixed deposit of UK £5,000,000 (Five Million pounds) in my bank branch where i am the chief auditor and he left
behind no next of kin. Late Prakash Chopra lived and work in Manchester England
as a stock and real estate businessman before he Died.
am writing to seek for your assistance to present you as the
beneficiary/next of kin to the late customer so that you will claim the
funds he left behind. after the successful transfer of this funds, i
shall come over to your country for the sharing of the percentage which
will be 50% for me and 50% for you.
have all the copies of the necessary documents that you will file to
back up this claim. All I require now is your honest co-operation to
enable us see this through and we have to do this within shortest time
possible. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
indicate your positive interest immediately for us to proceed, if not
please ignore. i shall be waiting for your responds and assurance in
For information and support alternatively contact me on my private email address:email@example.com
Thanks for Your Cooperation.
Dr.Francis Donald Watson