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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mis Maryam A Nawaz <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mis Maryam A Nawaz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 07:59:39 +0900 (JST)
Subject: My Request
Thanks for your attention and I pray that my decision to contact you will be given favourable response. I am seeking for your partnership and assistance to transfer and investments of my inheritance funds, Eight Million Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars (US$8.6M) which I inherited from my late father who died mysteriously.
It was very evident that my father was poisoned to death. In my culture, when a man dies, if he does not have a male child, the brothers share his properties leaving the wife and the daughters empty handed. This is the exact case with me now, as I am only daughter of my late parent. I lost my mother when I was barely a year old and my father refused to re-marry another wife despite all persuasion by friends and relatives, because he felt solely responsible for my mother's death, as he only concentrated on his business that he rarely pays attention to domestic/family affairs.
But he ensured that I had everything that I wanted. It was as a result of this that he made me the next of kin to the fund he deposit with the bank and stated that in the event of any eventuality, I should have a direct access to the funds only when I am 25 years of age otherwise, I should have a guardian/partner to intercede on my behalf for the release of the funds to me. Unfortunately, he died and I am only 19years of age currently. that is why I have contact you to stand and intercede on my behalf for bank to release and transfer this fund to your bank account for investments while I locate over there to continue my studies.
I had discussions with the bank director where my father deposited this funds and I was assured that once I have someone who would be honest and willing to stand on my behalf to receive the funds for investments, they will commence all proceedings to release and transfer the fund, as soon as you made up your mind to stand on my behalf I will inform bank immediately and I am willing to offer you 20% from the total amount and 10% to orphans after the successful transfer. Please Endeavour to let me know your mind if youâre willing and sure to stand to assist me for this transaction.
I hope to read from you for more details
Mis Maryam A Nawaz