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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Williams Smith<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 05:22:47 -0700
Subject: WASHINGTON DC UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
WORLD DEBT RECOVERY COMMITTEE
98540 EAST OLYMPIA
WASHINGTON DC UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
I am Mr Williams Smith of the newly inaugurated World Debt Recovery
committee (WDRC). My committee has a mandate to recover unpaid debts
associated with NNPC contracts, Lottery fund, inheritance fund, loans
grants etc ranging from $1M-$19.5M owed to various beneficiaries and
companies across the globe (Asia, Europe, USA, Africa, and Australia)
submit the list of the unpaid beneficiaries/companies to the 2 appointed
official paying Banks for immediate payment of the fund.
In the course of our investigation, your email address/particulars were
shortlisted among the first fifteen individuals yet to be paid hence
email. However, we received a petition today from one Mrs. Christina
Morgan that you are dead. According to her, you died in a plane crash as
such your fund should be paid to her as the apparent heir. She has also
submitted her Bank account with Bank of America for the transfer of the
fund to her.
To avoid undue delay or paying the fund to wrong individual/beneficiary,
have decided to contact you for confirmation. If I fail to hear from you
after 72 hours, it will be assumed that the petition of Mrs. Morgan is
true and the fund will be paid to her without further delay.
Therefore, if you are still alive, reconfirm your particulars,
1. Full Name:____________________________
4. Age:____________Date of Birth:________
7. State of Origin:_______Country:_______
8. Copy of int'l passport or any scanned identity to prove yourself.and
how you want your fund paid to you immediately for the attention of the
Response to my email
Mr Williams Smith