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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: isha ahmed <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:13:45 +0000
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED
ANTHONY OXBY AHMED & Co.(Solicitors)Derby, Derbyshire, DE72 WOODWARD CLOSE LONDON
I am ANTHONY OXBY, I have emailed you earlier on without any response from you. On my first email I mentioned about my late client, a National of your country whose relatives I cannot get in touch with. But both of you have the same last name so it will be very easy to front you as his official next of kin so that the money in his account valued $9.3million (NINE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) will be paid to you.
I am compelled to do this because I would not want the finance house to push my clients funds into their treasury as unclaimed inheritance. I have all the necessary legal documents that can be use to backup any claim we may want.If you are interested you do let me know so that I can give you Comprehensive details on what we are to do.
Awaits your urgent reply.
Regards,ANTHONY OXBY ISHA AHMEDAttorney at Law