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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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 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)
- e. 7th street chico, ca 95928 email address: (email@example.com)or(firstname.lastname@example.org) dear friend, it is (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Keyston Steburg" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 08:05:03 -0000
Subject: Keyston Steburg & Associates. 22
Keyston Steburg & Associates.
LAW OFFICE 182 E. 7th Street Chico, CA 95928
EMAIL ADDRESS: (firstname.lastname@example.org)or(email@example.com)
It is obvious that this proposal will come to you as a surprise. This is because we have not met before but I am inspired in sending you this email following the huge fund transfer opportunity that will be of mutual benefit to the two of us.
However, I am Dr.KEYSTON STEBURG Attorney to the late Engr.Charles OLI, a national of Northern American, who used to work with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Houston, Texas U.S.A. My client, his wife and their three children were involved in a car accident.
Unfortunately they all lost their lives in the event of the accident, since then I have made several inquiries to several Embassies to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the Internet to locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client, I can easily convince the bank with my legal practice that you are the only surviving relation of my client. Otherwise the Estate he left behind will be confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged.Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at about $70.5 million U.S dollars.
Consequently, the bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over several years now. I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at $70.5 million U.S dollars can be paid to your account and then you and me can share the money. 55% to me and 40% to you, while 5% should be for expenses or tax as your government may require. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through and also forward the following to me:
Your Full Name:
Your House Address:
Your Tele-phone And Fax No:
Your Age and Gender :
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me VIA my confidential email (firstname.lastname@example.org)or(email@example.com)