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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Samrith Meng <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2016 06:28:21 +0100
Subject: Expecting your early reply
Dear Friend ,
I am contacting you based on trust, honest and confidentiality that you
will keep this as top secret and if interested should write to me. I know
it will take you by surprise to receive this information because mails like
this flies over the internet telling people about funds and most are not
My mail is genuine and different . There is an unclaimed cash&money of our
late customer who died on Plane Crashed; Sun 16 Sept 07; Flight OG269 in
Thailand no availability of next of kin and the money is unclaimed and free
You should read on this link to understand it:
The money is being held under a non-investment account . If you are
interested will stand as the next of kin to my late client whose account is
presently dormant and will present you as the next of kin to claim the fund
before the period given by the Firm expire soon.
I am assuring you of a 100% risk free and legitimate project . I will
explain in details when I hear from you or interest to complete the deal
with me. If you are interested should write to me for more details.
Expecting your early reply