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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jason Robertson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:23:03 -0700
Subject: Read: From: Mr. Jason Robertson.
From: Mr. Jason Robertson.
I write to you in good faith and trust that you will take a moment to consider the contents of this letter. I am Mr. Jason Robertson, the Chief Auditor of an Assets Management Company in United Kingdom. In the course of my job, I discovered a floating fund in an account which was opened in 2003 belonging to a foreigner , who died in an air crash with his wife and children. All effort made to track any member of his family or next of kin has since failed, hence I got in contact with you to stand as his next of kin. He died leaving no heir or a will.
My intention is to transfer this sum of Thirty Million British Pounds Sterling (£30,000,000) in the above mentioned account to a safe account overseas. I am therefore proposing that you partner with me and provide an existing account or set up a new account that will serve the purpose of receiving the above fund.
For your assistance in this venture, I will give you 30% of the entire funds.
After going through the deceased person's records and files, I discovered that:
(1) No one has operated this account since 2007
(2) He died without an heir; hence the money has been floating
(3) No other person knows about this account and there is no Next of Kin.
If I do not remit this money urgently, it would be forfeited and subsequently converted to company's funds after the 10th year (this year); this will benefit only the Directors of my firm. The funds will be approved and paid to you legally as soon as I secure all the necessary Documents and Certifications in your name. I will also guide you on how to make your applications to ensure its approval and payment.
Reply stating your Full Names & Direct telephone number this is to enable me call you to explain detailed information on the modalities of this proposition. The entire process will be completed within 14 working days. I completely trust you to keep this proposition absolutely confidential and I also want you to know that this transaction is 100% risk free. I look forward to your prompt response to my email address: email@example.com
Mr. Jason Robertson.