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:
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "BCP Holdings" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2019 06:00:22 -0800
Subject: reach out to me soon
I am Mr. Peters a finance officer in UK. I wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to an estate in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. (Name now withheld since this is our second letter to you).
I am contacting you because you bear the surname identity and therefore I can present you as the beneficiary to the inheritance. I therefore reckoned that you can receive these funds as you are qualified by your name identity. All the legal papers that will be used to process the payment will be handled by me, in your acceptance to co-operate with me on this deal.
Kindly forward to me your letter of acceptance; to enable me file in necessary documents at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money to you.