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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the consignment" (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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447031800873 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Richard Smith <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 21:17:10 +0200
Subject: Confirm Your Interest!
Attention: Private and confidential Request.
My names are Paul Smith, an attorney and I work with Jason & Frank Law Firm in London England. I got your contact information through the United States public records while searching for a last name similar to my late client's, a business
magnate by name Thomas who lived in the United Kingdom for over a decade prior to his death. He died along with his family in an auto crash which occurred December 2011.
Before I go further, I apologize for this unsolicited mail to you. I am conscious that this is certainly not a predictable way of approach to foster a relationship of trust but just for the circumstances and urgency surrounding this claim. Before the unfortunate incident, my late client deposited One Trunk Box/Diplomatic Personal Treasure, containing the sum of $10.8M (TEN MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) with a Safe Security Company here in London, England and for security and personal reasons he did not disclose the exact content of deposited diplomatic box to the SAFE HOUSE. As the attorney to late Thomas the security company has mandated me to present a member of his family (heir/inheritor) to make Claims or the vault will be confiscated and taken to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security as unclaimed.
After exhaustive efforts of search for a direct family member to my late client which came to no avail, I was given an ultimatum to look for some relatives anywhere to come for the claim or have the Vault liquidated and made unserviceable in accordance with existing laws. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you to stand as the next of kin to my late client. I know you may not be anyway related to my late client but having the same LAST NAME with him and the modality I have in place I can guarantee that if you follow my instructions (The rule of law) and capitalizing on some judicial loop holes the vault will be released to us with you presented as the NEXT OF KIN.
Take note that this transaction is 100% risk free; there are no atoms of risks connected to this business as I have worked out all modalities to complete the operation effectively. Once the consignment (vault) is released to you, we shall divide the content in the ratio of 50% for you, 50% for me as our benefit. That is
($ 5.4 Million Dollars for each of us). Kindly indicate your response to this letter via email and then call me to let me know you sent me an email so that I can send you further clarification on how this will work out. Please be kind to get back to me if you are not willing to collaborate with me so that I can further my search for another partner.
Paul Richard Smith.
Legal Practitioner & Notary Public.
236 Liverpool Street, London, E10 4QY, United Kingdom.