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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Insurer; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Raymond Carrasco"
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2015 08:29:50 +0530
Subject: God Bless Your Day
From: Dr. Raymond-Carrasco
Member; Executive Board of Trustees
Prudential Financial, Inc.
Attn: Intended Partner
I feel quite safe dealing with you in this mutual beneficial transaction.
This correspondence is purely private, and it should be treated as such. I also guarantee you that this deal is hitch free from all what you may think of. I am Dr. Raymond-Carrasco, Member of the Executive Board of Trustees Prudential Financial, Inc. I am contacting you based on Trust and confidentiality that will be attached to this deal for the benefit of both of us. The Management and the Legal/ Treasury Department of Prudential Financial, Inc. in a recent meeting recommended that the Life Insurance Contract of persons who maintained Life Insurance Policies with no deposits or withdrawals from their account within a period of 15 years, should be declared Dormant and confisticated in line with The National Association of Insurance Commissioners Regulations, hence moving their unclaimed benefits funds to the Treasury.
On making a thorough research of our database. I came across a very huge sum of money belonging to one Mr. Terry Ryan an American who unfortunately lost his life in the plane crash of Alaska Flight 261 which crashed off the California coast on Jan. 31, 2000, including his wife and and 2 children. You shall read more about the crash on visiting this site. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/profiles-of-alaska-flight-261-victims/ This man was our client and has a Life Insurance Policy now worth the sum of Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$15,000,000.00). Right now, the fund is lying unclaimed in one of our Bank and the next of kin mentioned in his file where his children Bradford Patrick Ryan and James Ryan who also died in the crash as earlier mentioned and there is no one else we can reach in the family. All efforts made by us to establish contacts with any other of his relations has proved abortive and unsuccessful. His Life Insurance Policy will expire in the next few months from the date of this letter. Just last week we received an instruction from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to forward particulars of all unclaimed benefits that will expire in the next few months.
Upon my personal finding on this matter, I kept this information secret to myself until now that I am contacting you. In view of the fact that the deceased customer does not have any available next of kin, it is officially important for the involvement of a foreigner who will pose as a next-of-kin. I will use my position in this Company to arrange and present you as his Next of Kin, as you can be his distance relative, Cousin, friend or even his business associate if you so choose, the Money ($15Million) will be Safely transfered into your own bank account in your country. Please include your telephone/fax number/ Home Address when replying this mail and I will give you more information as soon as you indicate your willingness to assist in this viable transaction. I will use my exalted position here to get all internal documentations to back up the claims so that we can succeed without any trouble.
The whole Procedures will last only 7 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully without trace even in future. Please I need the following information to my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Your Full Name:
2. Phone and Fax Number:
3. Contact Address/Company's Name and Address:
4. Your Age:
The transaction will be done successfully and smoothly via email and telephone when i receive response from you. I will call you for detailed discussions. I promise that you must be happy and shall rejoice greatly soonest for this cooperation with me in this transaction. After successful conclusion of this transaction, we shall share the money 60-35 (35% for you and 60% for me and 5% for all expenditures that may occur during this process).
Note: I require you to maintain the confidentiality of this transaction because it is very important due to the fact that I am still in active services to the company and my retirement benefit is due in the next few years.
Your earliest response to this matter is very important for the both of us.
Thanks and remain blessed.
Prudential Financial, Inc.