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:
- ",500,000" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "David D. MacLeod" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2018 11:55:27 -0400
Hello my friend
I wish to seek your consent to partner with me. I will like to present
you as the beneficiary to the total sum of $9,500,000.00 USD belonging
to a deceased client of my law firm who has same last name as you. A
preliminary search through Ancestry DNA program has revealed that you
might be distant relative to my deceased client. No other relatives
have been located till date.
This is 100% legitimate and risk free as I will provide the legal
expertise to guide you through the process.
After your acceptance, I will present to you the original certificate
of deposit to show proof of funds and documents will be prepared to
back up your claim. This claim requires a high level of
confidentiality and may take up to thirty (30) days from the date of
receipt of your consent to process. Please contact me at your earliest
convenience and forward to me your first and last name with full
contact address to enable me file necessary paperwork for the release
of the funds to you.
David D. MacLeod
MacLeod Law Firm
2 Bloor St West,
Canada M4W 3E2