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:
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Gabriel Brock" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 14:49:47 +0800
Subject: Good Day,
I am Mr.Gabriel Brock Head of Accounting Audit Department of Credit Suisse Bank North West London, here in England .
I am writing you from my office which will be of a great immense benefit for both of us. In my department, being a branch manager (Greater London region), I discovered an abandoned sum of £15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million pounds) in account of our late client. I saw your contact during my private search at the information centre and I have a deep believe that you will be very honest, committed and capable of assisting me in this business venture.
It is based on this that I am contacting you to stand as the beneficiary to a late client of the bank so that the total sum of £15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million pounds) will be released and paid to you as the beneficiary to the deceased.
At the end of this transaction you shall have 45% of the total inheritance and i shall take 55%. I will provide you with all the necessary information, documents and proof to legally back up the claim from the different offices concerned for the smooth transfer of the fund to any of your accounts as the true beneficiary.
If this proposal satisfies you, please get back to me with the following information:
ADDRESS, AGE / SEX and OCCUPATION.
I anticipate your urgent response to enable us proceed further.
Mr. Gabriel Brock