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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Basil Paterson" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 13:09:09 -0400
Subject: INHERITANCE FUND
Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day.
Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you, My name is Basil Paterson. a British Citizen and Manager Operations Euro Finance and Securities Russia Branch, I do understand that It may surprise you receiving this letter from me, since there was no previous correspondence between us.
I am contacting you with respect to this amount of fund which is under our security $4,500,000 USD (Four Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) deposited by one of our deceased client late Ramesh Deshmukh, who passed away on the 4th of Oct 2003.
Mr.Ramesh Deshmukh was an Indian American Citizen who had interest in relocating to Russia but his fund is still deposited with us, without any next of kin mentioned in his file the fund will be converted by the management by the end of this year based on the fact that after 10 years nobody had come to claim the fund and my company have tried every possible means to contact any member of his family with no avail, but as the Manager Operations am very much aware of his deposit that is why I am seeking for a partner that I will present as the next of kin to claim this deposit and we will both share the fund 60% for me 40% for you.
There is no risk involved in this, I will present you as his business associate and next of kin to the deceased customer, my Company have made all relevant search for any member of his family to no avail, his forwarding address here in Moscow is now occupied by a new tenant, after Ten years of no claim, the fund will be finally converted to Company fund as unclaimed fund.
The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. However, if this business proposal offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology.
If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand this transaction properly.
If you will be interested in this transaction, do get back to me with the below informations for more details
1. Your full name:
2. Your residence address:
3. Your company name:
4. Your occupation/position:
5. Your official age:
6. Your marital position:
7. Your phone number:
Awaiting your urgent reply
Mr. Basil Paterson