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:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: ADEMOLA JOSEPH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: ADEMOLA JOSEPH <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:49:15 +0000 (UTC)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
It is withtrust that I am writing to introduce myself to you, and share anexperience with youÂ which I believe should be mutually rewarding. My nameis Mr. Joseph Ademola, a branch manager of a bank here in Lagos, andÂ incidentally an account officer to Mr. Mark Hensley (who is now late). Mr. MarkHensley was until his death in 2009 in an industrial accident a seniorpetroleum engineer with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation . And theNigerian National Petroleum Corporation is indebted to my late client, Mr. MarkHensley to the tune of US$25,000,000 from a running contract before his death. That is the reason for this vital contact with you.
Now, basedmainly on my several petitions for release and payment of this money to Mr. Hensleyâsfamily/relative, the government has authorized the payment of this remainingpart to the family of Mr. Mark Hensley. However, over these past years I havemade several fruitless efforts to locating Â Mr. Mark Hensley familymembers or next of kins, hence this contact to you. I have to state though thathe remained single until hisÂ death at 52. I am writing to you because ashis personal account officer, our bank has officially informed me to forwardthe details of Mr. Hensley next of kin within a specified time so that he/she couldbe paid the outstanding $25 Million dollars, otherwise his payment shall bereverted to the government treasury as unclaimed bill. And since I have beenunsuccessful in locating any of his relatives, I have decided to contact youfor a deal so that we can work together as a team to get this money to youraccount away from here, as late Mr. Mark Hensley next of kin.Â Please notethat we shall do this through a simple process that will see you as theinheritor and beneficiary of these funds. It is made more easier because youare of the same country of origin with him.
I am telling this because, I cannotsit and watch Mr. Mark Hensley 's hard earned entitlement go to undeservingpersons. Please be rest assured that I am making this proposition with the bestof intentions, even though IÂ understand that a business of thisnatureÂ is bound to make anyone curious. On that note, I have tosay that all that is required now is your honest reply to enable us achievethis objective. I assure you that the claim and transfer of this fund on yourname shall be under a Legitimate banking arrangement that will protect youfully. I want to state here also that upon the successful claim and transfer ofthese funds on your name according to plans, you shall beÂ entitled to 30%of the total funds. So, if you are interested to work with me in this deal thenkindly reply with your full personal information such as full residential andbusiness addresses and telephone numbers.
Mr. Joseph Ademola.