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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kendah Linniss" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:47:25 -0600
Subject: Hello! Dear Friend,
Hello! Dear Friend,
I have been in search of someone with this last name and when I saw your name I was pushed to contact you and see how best we can assist each other.
Meanwhile I am Mr. Kendah Linniss, a reputable banker here and my purpose of contacting you is that On the 15th of March 2007 one Mr. Husson, a citizen of your country and a crude oil dealer made a fixed deposit with my bank valued at Ten Million Euros (10,000,000.00) and the due date for this deposit contract is exactly this time of the year.
Sadly Mr. Husson was among the death victims in the 2008 deadly earthquake in Sichuan china and left nobody for the claim of his deposited fund. He was in china on a business trip and that was how he met his end.
Mr. Husson did not mention any Next-of-Kin/Heir when the fixed deposit was made because he was not married and no child and if this fund should stay here in our bank after so many years till this time of the year! It will be moved into the bank's treasury account as un-claimed fund and the top bank officials here in our bank will share it among themselves.
I dont want such thing to happen that is the reason why I contacted you and I request your assistance to receive this fund into your account as the beneficiary since you bear the same surname with the deceased.
Please kindly consider this proposal and send me your reply of interest to my private email address: (email@example.com) so that I will give you more details on how to proceed. I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds equally, which is 50/50 to both parties.
I am waiting for your response directly to my private email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and please delete if you are not interested.
For your information I am always busy in the office, so I prefer that we keep communicating through e-mail for safety purpose.
I am waiting for your positive response.
Mr. Kendah Linniss.