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:
- "million 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- mandate.if you are interested you do let me know by email;firstname.lastname@example.org so that i can give you comprehensive details on what we (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "John Azii" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:44:39 -0300
I humbly crave your indulgence in sending you this mail,Let me start first, introduce myself properly to you.
I am Mr MARK WILLIAMS, of Dept of Bill and Exchange with SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK.I need your consent to handle this transaction because it entails large amount of funds($15.2 Million Dollars) deposited by a deceased customer in our bank.
I wish to know if we can work together.I would like you to stand as next of kin to my deceased client, who was among the people that lost their life in the Egypt air crash 1999, with the wife.
He made some deposits with our bank, and died without any registered next of kin and as such the funds now have an open beneficiary mandate.If you are interested you do let me know by email;email@example.com
so that I can give you comprehensive details on what we are to do.
I urgently hope to get your response.
MR JOHN AZIIH