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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "THOMAS ESO" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2017 06:06:09 +0100
Subject: LETTER OF INTENT.
Hello old friend,
I found it quite difficult to retrieve your email address since we last communicated over a year ago. I am aware that your overdue $20Million inheritance fund has exceeded its period in a suspense account since you could not meet the none resident requirements. The end of our next internal audit will mark the end of my tenure in office and I fear that your payment may not survive the revocation scrutiny if a quick move is not taken.
I am on the verge of my retirement, and I am using this opportunity to make you a deal offer you can't refuse. I have the executive powers to influence the speedy approval of your Inheritance claim, and be rest assured that you will receive your $20 Million entitlement before my exit from office. If you would agree a 50/50 split with me, I will initiate the C91 prompt transfer authorization to enable you receive payment within seven (7) working days.
Please, observe this private email account, it's not monitored. For security reasons, I proffer discreet communications since I am still in active service.
Thanks in anticipation, I hope to read from you at your earliest
Administrator-General of Public Trustee,
Ministry of Justice, North-eastern Region-Nigeria.