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 deposit" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Fred Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 21:17:38 +0100
Subject: Good day
Good day and compliment
Please I want to connect with you because i was struck by your name as
i came across it today and after some verification, it appears to me
that you may be related to late Engineer Valnizia, a civil Engineer
and a client of my bank who died in a plane clash along side his wife
and children in 2009.Air France Flight 447 (AF447/AFR447). .... Am
sure you may not be aware of this. Therefore, i have some secret to
reveal to you about this man in connection with your name because you
stand to get millions of dollars from this deceased unclaimed huge
deposit here in my bank as his next of kin based on your name. So let
us discuss how to work this out in your favor. Kindly reply back with
your full contact names to enable me make a thorough verification
through my office data base before my detail reply and feed back to
Thanks and best regards
Custodian Finance UK