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 us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Joo Martins" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2015 22:31:51 -0000
I came across your email in a vocational site and decided to alert you on this lucrative venture. I am an executive manager with a leading Investment Management Institution in London.
I have an investor under my portfolio with a closing balance of Fifteen Million US dollars as his initial deposit. This investor died intestate six years ago leaving no authorization for Re-transfer of this investment fund.
I have monitored this deposit and accrued interest for 72 months now and non of his relatives/partners have made claim for this fund, it is very clear that his family knew nothing about this deposit, thereby creating an open avenue for claim of the said funds on presentation of a trustworthy foreign partner that can stand as a relative/partner to the deceased.
If you are interested I can present you as the relative or partner, back up with adequate legal documentations and on doing this, our establishment will not question the release of the funds to you. I will make sure that we comply with the banking laws and ethics of claiming the estate.
Contact me for more details if you are interested.