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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045795135 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mark Stewart < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 01:56:48 +1000 (AEST)
Subject: Mark Stewart
I am Mark Stewart Operational Risk Analyst at Bank from London, Street Address: 1 Finsbury Avenue London, EC2M 2PP in London (UBS AG, Investment Bank) I am writing you about a business proposal that will be of immense and mutual benefit to both of us. It might interest you to know that in my department, being the head of Operational Risk Analyst, I discovered a Sum of £18.5 Million (Eighteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling) in an account that Belongs to one of our late foreign customer an American Investor (GUARCH VIVIAN) was involved in a plane crash on the 21 February 2008; Santa Barbara Airlines.
However, the choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature of where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of the transaction and the confidentiality herein. Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for the claim without success over the year. I personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives; I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin/Beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at £18.5 Million Great British Pounds Sterling can be paid and transferred to you as the named next of kin/beneficiary.
This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 55% to me and 45% to you. I have secured all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this claim. All i need is to fill in your names to the documents and legalize it in the court here to prove you as the legitimate beneficiary. All I require now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and Trust to enable us sees this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under the ambit of secured legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please Upon your consideration and acceptance of this offer, please send me the following information immediately.
- Your Full Name:
- Your Contact Address:
- Your Direct Mobile telephone Number:
- Your Date of Birth:
- Your Occupation:
- Your Private email:
So I can send your data to our bank database to appear in the bank system that you are the named next of kin /heir beneficiary of the fund, and then I will guide your communication with UBS Investment Bank for the immediate release and transfer of the fund to you, I wait for your immediate reply to my private e-mail: email@example.com, so we can commence the transaction immediately.
Your response is greatly appreciated.
Operational Risk Analyst.
Mobile Number: +447045795135