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:
- "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)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Tony Ibe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr. Tony Ibe" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2013 00:30:07 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Dear Sir
I greet you in good Faith,
I know you will be surprised to read my email. I got your contact from your Email domain, apart from being surprised you may be skeptical to reply me due to what is happening on the internet world today. I know it is very difficult for people to believe anything that comes through the internet but this is a different case. Your attention to this message will be of grate benefits to both of us.
My name is Tony Ibe. A staff of African Express Bank, recently I was ask to head a team of investigators about a client of ours who died interstate and has a deposit valued (10.2 million dollars) My bank issued me a notice to provide our clientele's next of kin or have the account confiscated within the shortest time frame.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for a year now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased because you bear the same last name, however, your names are quite similar to our late client.
I have the mind to do this because if no one claims it some top echelon of the bank will definitely convert it to their personal use. My recommendation in this all important investigation is all that the bank needs to take a decision any moment from now.
Please, if the above suggestion /proposal is okay by you simply indicate your willingness and I will let you have the panacea to claiming it.
Get back to me by phone or mail.
Mr. Tony Ibe.