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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Markus Pabala <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Markus Pabala <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:50:48 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Business Affair
Â Hello my dear Friend,Â
Accept my sincere apology for sending this mail to you, well;I am Mr. Markus Pabala, a Personal Attorney to LateÂ chemical engineer and a major shareholder in an oil & Gas company herein Benin.Â On the July 17, 2014, my client, her husband and their only child were involved in Malaysia Airlines MH17 Plane Crash in Ukraine . Since thenI have made several inquiries to locate any of my client's extended relatives, but this has proved unsuccessful.www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-plane-crash.Â So I'm contacting you to assist in repatriating the fund from the bank's custody before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable bythe bank, and I seek your consent to present you to the bank as the next of kin to the deceased since you bear the same last name withhim. The value of this account US18.5 milllion will be paid to you, and thereafter the fund will be shared 50% for me and 40% for you and 10%will be mapped out for any expenses made during the fund transfer process.Â Before I can give you more details on the procedures I would like you to send to me your full name, address, age, occupation, Position, andyour telephone/mobile number to my private email below.Please reply directly to my secured email address below:Â Yours Sincerely,Â Barrister Markus PabalaÂ