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:
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "PAUL HENSON" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:46:52 +0100
Subject: PLEASE CLARIFY..
My name is Mr. Paul Henson, an External Auditor working with a Prime Bank here in the Barbados Caribbean Island. during our last auditing for the bank, I discovered a dormant account. From my investigation, the owner of the said account, a foreigner by name Mr. Jeffrey Picower who died since October 25th 2009 for details visit http://rt.com/usa/news/billionaire-death-madoff-scandal/
After all this years, no one has come up with a letter of administration to lay claims for the funds hence myself and my insider in the bank have decided to move the funds to overseas with the help of a foreigner who will stand as the beneficiary to the late man in order to move the funds.
This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law and you will be compensated adequately according to agreed commissions.
All I require from you is your trust and honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. You will have to show commitments to the cause as time will be of great importance in what we have to do. If you are interested and prepared to work with me according to these dictates, please reply to this mail immediately so that we can discuss, make assessments and after your basic understanding of the whole business, commence the process by which we will actualize the project.
Mr. Paul Henson.
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