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:
- "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)
- "million us 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.CHRIS UGO." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:45:58 +0100
Subject: NEXT OF KIN/////////
I am an Account Officer with Union Bank Plc ,My name is . CHRIS UGO, a Banker. I am the personal Account Manager to (Engineer.Peter Paul) who was an expertrate contractor with Oil servicing Firm here in Nigeria.Here in aftershall be referred to as my client,my client passed on as a result of a heart attack. Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my client's extended Relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace you over the Internet hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge
deposits were lodged, particularly the Union Bank Plc . Where the deceased had an account Valued at about ($6 Million US Dollars) has Issued me a notice to provide the next of kin. Or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased so that this account valued at ($ 6 Million US Dollars) can be paid to you. The sharing modality is till open and
negociatable.All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this business through. 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 by my email and for more detailsregarding to this transaction.(firstname.lastname@example.org