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:
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- +447053835627 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Malvin Kaur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2014 17:03:32 +0800
Subject: Re: Your Urgent Attention Is Needed
Compliments, my name is Malvin Kaur, I am the group head internal audit of HSBC Holding PLC UK.
There's an account with the sum of £7 Million pounds(GBP) which I discovered during an audit review that has been dormant for a long time and I have made all the necessary investigation about the account and found out that nobody has interest in the account and the money. This account belongs to a Taiwanese business man who died in Chinese Airlines flight 611 in 2002. He had neither a legal will nor a surviving next of kin. I need your co-operation as a foreigner to stand in as the deceased business partner to claim the money through my guideance under a 50% 50% sharing arrengment. Contact me immediately if you are interested.
Please note that this is not an official transaction, therefore all communications will be private, as such I will request you reply me through my private email address: email@example.com.
To know about the plane crash, you can read it on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Airlines_Flight_611
And to know more about my position, login to: http://www.insideview.com/directory/hsbc-holdings-plc
I will be waiting for your urgent response.
HSBC Holding Plc