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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Diane Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Diane Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2017 23:31:59 +0900 (JST)
Subject: KINDLY READ CAREFULLY..
This email might come to you as a surprise and a complete intrusion to your privacy but right now this is my only option of communicating With You. I humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in the transfer and investment of my inheritance funds from my late father who died mysteriously.
I will like to further introduce myself to you. My name is Miss.Diane
Williams, I am age of eighteen years girl, am only child of my late parents Mr.and Mrs. Paul Williams
It was very evident that he was poisoned to death. In my culture, when a man dies, if he does not have a male child, the brother shares his property leaving the wife and the daughters empty handed. This is the exact case with me as I am the only daughter of my father. I lost my mother when I was barely a year old and my father refused to re-marry another wife despite all persuasion by friends and relatives, because he felt solely responsible for my mother's death, as he only concentrated on his business that he rarely pays attention to domestic/family affairs.
But he ensured that I had everything that I wanted. It was as a result of this that he made me the next of kin to his fund deposit with the bank and stated that in the event of any eventuality, I should have a direct access to the funds only when I am twenty-five years of age otherwise, I should have a guardian/partner to intercede on my behalf for the release of the funds to me. Unfortunately, he passes away and I am eighteen years of age currently.
I had discussions with the director of international remittance unit of the bank where my father deposited the funds and I was assured that once I have someone who would be honest and willing to receive the funds on my behalf for the purpose of investments in overseas, they shall commence all proceedings to effect the release and transfer of the funds into the person's designated account. Once you signify your interest to partner with me, I shall be giving you the bank contact details and also let you know how much involve so you request for the release and transfer of my inheritance fund into your nominated bank account for investment purpose and I can join you to continue my education.
Your urgent response will be appreciated. Talk to you the more.
Miss Diane Williams