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:
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Muna Abu Sulayman" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2019 11:10:36 -0800
Subject: $25,000,000.00 (twenty five Million United State Dollars)
My name is Muna Abu Sulayman from United Arab Emirates,currently working as an Account Officer in Central Bank of U.A.E located here in Dubai.
I have an important business discussion i wish to share with you which i believe will interest you, because it is in connection with your last name and you are going to benefit from it.
I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my late client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued at $25,000,000.00 (twenty five Million United State Dollars) is lodged. My Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my named client since you have the same last name, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you, Then we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will be provided. All i require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.You can kindly contact through this Number (412)387-7238
There is no risk involved for you and the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law.
Muna Abu Sulayman