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)
- "affidavit of claim" (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. )
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Martins Millery" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 15 May 2016 02:41:16 -0700
Subject: From Martins Millery (Inheritance Claim)
Please I got your contact from email domain Directory, do not be skeptical to reply back to me based on what is going on in the internet world, this business is very safe and secure.
Please my friend, if you are willing to show me Trust and Honest, then, we can work together. I am Mr. Martins Millery, PA to Mr Kurt Kahle a German who owned a private business school and also a German property magnate who died in AF4590 crash since 2000 alongside with his entire family (with his 37-year-old wife and son Michael). Please see this site yourself before we proceed, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
I decided to contact you purely on personal conviction of trust and confidence, to assist me in recovering the funds deposit in a Finance Company by Mr Kurt Kahle as his business partner , since he is no longer alive, some management of the finance company was not aware that the deposit content is money. Being his PA, the finance company have issued me a notice to provide his next of kin for the claim of the consignment because their company have been bought by another finance firm and no one has come for the claim, otherwise the consignment will be CONFISCATED if nobody comes to lay claim on the deposit. Though, since he is death with his immediate family my proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as a next-of-kin and beneficiary, so that the deposit can be release to you and we will share the amount on a mutually agreed percentage. I have find the original deposit certificate issue to him on the day of deposit, I will give you the CERTIFICATE and we will secure a legal document/ Affi
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. If you accept my proposal, I will appreciate to have the following information which will be used to prepare the Affidavit of Claim in your name, 1.FULL NAME, 2.COUNTRY ADDRESS, 3.OCCUPATION, 4.PERSONAL DIRECT CELL PHONE, 5.AGE
This transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of the law, if this business proposition offends your moral values, please do accept my apology. Note: I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extra-confidential, I assure you that this is a risk-free business.
A swift acknowledgement of the receipt of this mail would be appreciated to indicate your interest.