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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.AMINA JOHNSON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "MRS.AMINA JOHNSON" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 23:47:29 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: BELOVED IN GOD / NOTIFICATION OF MY INHERITANCE FUND DONATE TO
YOU* GET BACK TO ME NOW
BELOVED FRIEND IN GOD:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â *REF: /Â I DONATE THIS FUND TO YOU FOR CHARITY FOUNDATION PROJECT*
Â Â Â Â GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF GOD, I am Mrs. Amina Johnson a LondonCitizenship, suffering from a long time cancer of the lungs; from allindication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obviousaccording to my doctors that I may not live so long; this is because mycondition of health has gotten to a very bad stage.
Â Â Â My husband died in Bell-view plane crash on Sunday October23, 2005 in the absent of having no child of ours. Â Since his death, Idecided not to re-marry and sold all my inherited belongings, deposited thecash sum of (US$10.M) Ten Million Dollars with Unity Bank Plc NG.
Â Currently this fund as aforementioned are still with the bank posingrisk of confiscation following the ongoing banking reform policy as enforced bythe Nigeria New Central Bank Governor; Â it was on that note my accountofficer advised that I should issued my letter power of attorney to somebodywho can stand on my behalf to claim the fund in case I cannot make it possiblewithin seven working days;
Â Meanwhile, it is on this note I am contacting to seek your urgentattention to provide me with information to which will enable me present youbefore the bank as my next of kin to whom the fund will be release unto.Â Â
Beloved, I took the decision to WILL out this fund for charity foundationproject where motherless and destitute children will be properly carter forinstead allowing my late husband familiesâ who has been on my neck since thedeath of their brother to release his assets to them hence I have limited lifetime ;
Â For God sake, if you are interest in carrying out this divine project onmy behalf without deviating from my heart desire, Â get back to meimmediately with your information as follows for us to proceed @ Â ( firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ );
1. Your full name:...............;(2). Your residentialaddress:....................;
3. Your nationality :.............;(4). Your sex / age:...male....... /...........
5. Your occupation............;(6). Your cell phonenumber:....................;
Thanks for understanding, while hoping hearing from you today:
Yours beloved Sister in the Lord,
MRS. AMINA JOHNSON