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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Ngozi Chika <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:00:48 -0800
I Am Mr.Ngozi Chika, in charge of bills and foreign exchange remittance Department in the bank where I work.
I am writing you this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to carry out this business opportunity in my department. We discovered an unclaimed sum of $9.5Million (Nine Million five hundred thousand United State Dollars) in an account belonging to one of our customer, who died in a Car crash with the entire family in year 2015.
Since we got information about his death we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money. Unfortunately, neither the family nor the relation has appeared to claim this money. We cannot release this money unless somebody applies as the next of kin or relation to the deceased.
Our banking guidelines indicated that if such money remained unclaimed for a period of four (4) years, it would be transferred into our bank Treasury as unclaimed fund. Another officer and I in the department now decided to transfer this money into your account as the next of kin or relation of the deceased for easy collection since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go back into the bank treasury as the unclaimed debt. In fact it is my friend that advised me to urgently arrange to transfer out this money through another foreigner outside the country.
We have decided to give you 20% of the total sum. So please, as a matter of urgency send to me your telephone and fax numbers for effective communication. I will do my best to see that we conclude this transaction successfully on time.
Please if you are interested send me an immediate mail so that I can explain the details to you, so you could understand everything about this business Waiting for your urgent response.
Contact me through this email address: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mr. Ngozi chika