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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Miguel Vilanueva Kiko" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:53:51 -0400
Subject: Re: About investment deposit sum of 7,500,000. 00
Mr. Miguel Vilanueva Kiko
Tel: +34 604 268 583
Fax: +34 911 881 340
I am Mr. Miguel Vilanueva Kiko, a Solicitor working with Levont Abogados in Spain. I got your detailed contact information through your country's public archive, while searching for any possible relative to my late client Mr. David "Lastname", who was a business magnate living in Spain for decades. Prior to the casualty of him and his immediate family I chose to contact you, which is why I must apologize greatly for the unsolicited mail as it is certainly an unprofessional way of approach to foster a relationship of trust.
Prior to my late client's death, he made a mutual investment deposit worth the sum of 7,500,000. 00 (Seven Million, Five hundred thousand Euros) with a security and investment company here in Spain. Against this milieu and consequently being the acting attorney present during the deposit, the security company requested I present the heir/heiress forward to make Claims of the investment deposit; otherwise, the aforementioned deposit will be reverted by the Bureau of Government Treasury.
Thus, I diligently embarked on an extensive research for a possible relative to my late client which proved abortive. Based on the instructions I got from the deposit/security company, on it been liquidated and made un-serviceable in accordance with existing deposit laws here in the kingdom of Spain, I proceeded to execute a pervasive research where I got your detailed contact information. Owing to the sensitivity of this transaction I urge you to keep proposal confidential pending when we work out modalities.
My proposal to you is collaborating with me to be the benefactor of the aforementioned investment deposit. Though, I acknowledge you may not be anyway related to my late client, taking into account that you both have a common surname is a positive factor as it can be considered a common genealogy. By virtue of my position, I can guarantee that we stand a great chance of success if you follow my instructions owing to the fact that I am not only an Attorney to the depositor and family, but was also present during registry of the deposit affording me the opportunity to have necessary facts covering this deposit which would facilitate the release process.
If you are interested, please indicate your willingness to initiate the process by contacting me via email or telephone to the contact details enlisted below for further clarification to enable us discuss the terms and conditions under which this transaction would be carried out.
Mr. Miguel Vilanueva Kiko
Tel: +34 604 268 583
Fax: +34 967 961 368