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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Craig Ranford" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:36:31 +0800
With due regards,i solicit your permission into your privacy. my name is Mr Craig Ranford a citizen of Australia working in a financial institution here in south east Asia as a supervisor, I got your contact during my search for a reliable trust worthy person to introduce this transfer project to. I am contacting you purely on the personal conviction of trust and confidence to assist in distributing the funds left behind by My late client Mr. Ediouk a contractor with one of the biggest oil servicing company in Asia, Who died in a car accident with his family on 19th November 2008, He has the same surname with you.
He deposited the some of USD$16,700.000.00 with us leaving nobody as the representative of his account after his death and they have asked me to provide a next of kin. I would like you to stand as the next of kin to claim the funds into your account for investment partnership with you in your country and feel free to contact me on this my private email below if interested and I will explain more on how we will proceed. please keep this information with you alone and i await your immediate response . (email@example.com )