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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: Dingani Mark <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Dingani Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:02:51 +0000 (UTC)
From: Mr. Dingane Mark
Tel :+ 27- 738-934-183
I am Mr. Dingane Mark, Head Accounts Management Section of a well-known Bank here in South Africa.Â Â I would like you to act as the next of kin to a deceased client Mr. Andreas Schranner, a German citizen who made a deposit of $21.3 million only with a Bank here in Johannesburg few years back. He died in a plane crash with his immediate family in a plane crash without any registered next of kin and as such the funds now have an open beneficiary mandate with the Bank, This means that any person from your country can act as the next of kin of the deceased person for claiming the inheritance funds without any risk involved.
Our Financial Institution is presently and by law the custodian of the money belonging to the deceased, whose account I am responsible for monitoring and officiating. The present mandate I have to present a credible beneficiary opens the way for us to take advantage of the situation and use the money to positively affect the lives of many instead of allowing the funds to be completely lost, since no one knows about the money and no one will come forward to claim the money as we already know.Â Â
I have confidentially discussed this issue with some of the bank officials and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with. We thus propose to do business with you, standing in as the next of kin of this fund from the deceased and fund released to you after due processes have been followed.Â Â This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is Legitimate and does not originate from drug or money laundry.Â Â On your interest, please send to me your contact telephone number, full names, occupation and residential address.Â