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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Pittalis" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 13:35:00 -0400
Subject: Re:Next Of Kin
I am Mr. John Pittalis, a senior banker in Cyprus with Cyprus Development Bank. It is with good spirit of heart I open up this great opportunity to you. A deceased client of mine that shares the same last name /surname as yours died as a result of heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all his family members who were on vacation and died in the Bam earthquake disaster on the 26th December 2003 in Bam City of Iran where they all lost their lives. More info https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Bam_earthquake
There is a draft account opened here in my bank since 1999 by my late client - Edward Sheldon, a national of your country. He was a geologist, a business man, a miner at EMED Mining International company here in Cyprus and also a mining consultant to several other mining conglomerates operating in china, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam before he passed away, leaving nobody as the next of kin / inheritor of his account after his death.
The fixed amount in this account is $17, 500, 000.00.(Seventeen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars). I want to present you as the beneficiary using my position and influence in our bank to make sure the bank releases this money to you for us to share. I have all the details and required information to make you the beneficiary to the funds. This transaction bears no risk. If I wait for days and I do not hear from you, I shall look for another person.
Kindly get back to me for more details on Email:firstname.lastname@example.org