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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: steven benson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: steven benson <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:33:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Waiting To Your Response.
Dear friend,My name is Steve Benson. I work with one of the leading Banks here in London, UK. I would need your consent to present you as the next of kin to our late customer who died of heart attack in 2009.He died without any registered next of kin as he was long divorced and had no child. I was his account officer and have in my possession all the documents required to present you as his beneficiary next of kin. We can work together to claim this fund.On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more details. Please endeavor to provide me with the following,so that we can discuss in details.Â 1)mobile phone numbers2)full name3)contact address and occupationÂ I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.Yours Sincerely,Steven Benson.