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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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. John Maurice" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 12:31:15 -0800
Subject: Your urgent reply to the proposal need
My name is Mr. John Maurice i work with one of the leading Banks here in London, UK. I would need your consent to present you as next of kin to our late customer who died of heart attack in 2009. He was a wealthy business man who deposited a huge amount in our Bank. He died without any registered next of kin as he was long divorced and had no child.
I was his account officer and have in my possession all the documents required to present you as his beneficiary/next of kin. I am contacting you because you have same name identity with our late client and can perfectly fit in as next of kin, We can work together to claim this fund. Please listen, this is real and goes on in Banks all over the world without people knowing. Let us utilize this opportunity because it does not come always. A lot of customers open private accounts with different Banks without the knowledge of their families and when they die, such money will be lost to the Bank unless someone comes to claim it. This is how a lot of Bank Directors make so much money silently.
However, if this business proposal offends your moral ethics, Please
do accept my sincere apology. If on the contrary you wish to achieve
this goal with me, please kindly provide the following information so we can discuss in details.
1. Your Full name.
2: Your private telephone
3. Occupation and Nationality.
5. Present Location.
I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.please contact me through my private E-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. John Maurice