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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR NATHANIEL CH" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:46:07 -0700
Subject: I WANT TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY 20/06/2016 ib
I am Mr. Nathaniel Jung Cheong, I worked for a Bank but i have since stopped due to this project. I wish to place your name as the beneficiary to Five and one half million dollars ($5,500,000) due to the death of the depositor who died without any heirs.
I assure you that this transaction will be executed in a manner that will protect you from any breach of the law both in your country and here.
I am requesting your collaboration with me, the money will be released to you in any country of your choosing. I urgently require the following information for my attorney to start processing vital legal documents:
Please note that my share of this fund will be sixty (60) percent and I intend that you invest it in your country real estate on my behalf. You may keep the remaining forty (40) percent for yourself. I want you to know this transaction will be directed by me through the help of my lawyer; it will help us secure all vital documents that will support your nomination as the Next of Kin, As the true beneficiary to the said fund, money will be released in your favor. What I require from you now is complete trust and honesty.
Awaiting your quick response,
Mr. Nathaniel Jung Cheong,