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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "account opening" (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. )
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jorge M Pozuelo" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2016 18:43:51 +0100
Subject: For Your Information.
I am the chief executive officer in charge of Auditing and Accounting section of a renowned firm here in Spain. Before I discuss anything with you, I must first apologize for this unsolicited email to you, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust, but due to the prevailing circumstances that is why I choose to contact you via this medium. My names are Jorge Pozuelo an auditor and lawyer with a Finance/auditing firm(Velasco Morent) here in Spain.
Based on the prevailing European economic crisis with Spain as one of the most affected countries in the Euro Zone, our firm has been charged to audit some major banks here in Spain, in line with government policies mergers and accounts. During my audits of accounts and other financial transactions I discovered floating fund amounting to the tune of Nine Million Eight Hundred Thousand Euros equivalent to Eleven Million two hundred thousand Dollars in a dormant account,
Upon my discovery of the above, I requested for the account opening file, which was dully perused and all efforts to contact the next of kin or family relation to the deceased person has proved abortive. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you to stand as the next of kin/benefactor to the depositor/account owner, if I have your consent and by virtue of my position can facilitate the release of the funds to you. As a seasoned auditor I have done extensive research thus can guarantees that this process is 100% viable with no risk involved as according to existing financial Laws here in the kingdom of Spain which implies that upon conclusion of this audit process and nobody applies to claim the funds it will be reverted to the ownership of the Government.
Feel free to give your own opinion on this transaction. (email@example.com)
Jorge M Pozuelo