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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Staley Jes" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2017 09:20:29 -0700
Subject: URGENT response needed
Hello Friend My, name is Mr. Staley Jes. i work with one of the leading Ban=
ks here in London, UK. I would need your consent to present you as the next=
of kin to our late customer who died of heart attack in 2009. He was a wea=
lthy 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 contacted you because you ha=
ve 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 re=
al and goes on in Banks all over the world without people knowing. Let us u=
tilize 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 at their the demise or in an event of death or accident such m=
oney 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. On your confirmation =
of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more =
details. Please endeavor to provide me with the following so that we can di=
scuss in details 1)mobile phone numbers 2)full name 3)contact address and o=
ccupation I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible. Yours S=
incerely, Mr. Staley Jes. London England=20