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.
- 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:
- "huge deposit" (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)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:09:29 +1100
Subject: Are You Interested?
I am Samash Din Choudhry. A British citizen resident in Birmingham England.
I am the personal assistant to Mr.Akeem Ravi,a national of your country, who lived in Birmingham England. On the 21st of April 2010, my client was involved in a car accident on the outskirts of the city. All occupants of the vehicle, including his immediate family, unfortunately lost their lives. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating his money and property left behind before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Finance Company (Bank) where this huge deposit was lodged.
Particularly, the deceased had an Amount at about 24.897,773.90 million dollars, equivalent to $24.9m.After notification of the death of the deceased,the Finance Company (Bank) has issued me a notice to provide the relations/next of kin or have the Funds confiscated within the next 21 days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives all this while till now, thatâs why I seek your consent to purport you as the next of kin of the deceased, as a foreigner and have the proceeds of this Amount valued at 24.897,773.90 million dollars paid to you as the bonafide approved Next of Kin. If you agree we can discuss the percentage you will have as compensation on your involvement. I have all necessary papers that can be used to back up the facts and claim for the release of the funds. All I require is your honest; cooperation and Sincerity to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law as it is a 100% risk free venture. I will update you with details when I hear from you.
Samash Din Choudhry.
Please get in touch with me immediately you as to acknowledge the good receipt of this message email:email@example.com