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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Alex MCcann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 20:36:23 +0000 (UTC)
ThisÂ isÂ aÂ personalÂ emailÂ directedÂ toÂ youÂ andÂ IÂ requestÂ thatÂ itÂ beÂ treatedÂ asÂ such.Â IÂ amÂ AlexÂ McCann,aÂ solicitorÂ atÂ law.Â IÂ amÂ theÂ personalÂ attorney/soleÂ executorÂ toÂ theÂ lateÂ MrÂ EdwardÂ ,Â hereinafterÂ referredÂ toÂ asÂ 'myÂ client'Â whoÂ workedÂ asÂ anÂ independentÂ oilÂ magnateÂ inÂ myÂ countryÂ andÂ whoÂ diedÂ inÂ aÂ carÂ crashÂ withÂ hisÂ immediateÂ familyÂ onÂ theÂ 4thÂ ofÂ Oct,2014Â SinceÂ theÂ deathÂ ofÂ myÂ clientÂ inÂ Oct,2014,Â IÂ haveÂ writtenÂ severalÂ lettersÂ toÂ theÂ embassyÂ withÂ anÂ intentÂ toÂ locateÂ anyÂ ofÂ hisÂ extendedÂ relativesÂ whomÂ shallÂ beÂ claimants/beneficiariesÂ ofÂ hisÂ abandonedÂ personalÂ estateÂ andÂ allÂ suchÂ effortsÂ haveÂ beenÂ toÂ noÂ avail.
MoreÂ so,IÂ haveÂ receivedÂ officialÂ lettersÂ inÂ theÂ lastÂ fewÂ weeksÂ suggestingÂ aÂ likelyÂ proceedingÂ forÂ confiscationÂ ofÂ hisÂ abandonedÂ personalÂ assetsÂ inÂ lineÂ withÂ existingÂ lawsÂ byÂ theÂ bankÂ inÂ whichÂ myÂ clientÂ depositedÂ ofÂ theÂ sumÂ ofÂ $14.5M,(FourteenÂ MillionÂ FiveÂ HundredÂ ThousandÂ DollarsÂ only)OnÂ thisÂ noteÂ iÂ decidedÂ toÂ searchÂ forÂ aÂ credibleÂ personÂ andÂ findingÂ thatÂ youÂ bearÂ aÂ similarÂ lastÂ name,Â IÂ decidedÂ toÂ contactÂ you,Â thatÂ IÂ may,withÂ yourÂ consent,Â presentÂ youÂ toÂ the"trustee"bankÂ asÂ myÂ lateÂ client'sÂ survivingÂ familyÂ memberÂ soÂ asÂ toÂ enableÂ youÂ putÂ upÂ aÂ claimÂ toÂ theÂ bankÂ inÂ thatÂ capacityÂ asÂ aÂ nextÂ ofÂ kinÂ ofÂ myÂ client.Â IÂ findÂ thisÂ possibleÂ forÂ theÂ fullerÂ reasonsÂ thatÂ youÂ bearÂ aÂ similarÂ lastÂ nameÂ withÂ myÂ clientÂ makingÂ itÂ aÂ lotÂ easierÂ forÂ youÂ toÂ putÂ upÂ aÂ claimÂ inÂ thatÂ capacity.IÂ proposeÂ thatÂ 50%Â ofÂ theÂ netÂ sumÂ willÂ accrueÂ toÂ youÂ atÂ theÂ conclusionÂ ofÂ thisÂ dealÂ inÂ soÂ farÂ asÂ IÂ doÂ notÂ incurÂ furtherÂ expenses.
Therefore,Â toÂ facilitateÂ theÂ immediateÂ transferÂ ofÂ thisÂ fund,Â youÂ need,Â firstÂ toÂ contactÂ meÂ viaÂ EmailÂ andÂ sendÂ meÂ yourÂ phoneÂ numberÂ signifying
yourÂ interestÂ andÂ asÂ soonÂ asÂ IÂ obtainÂ yourÂ confidence,Â IÂ willÂ immediatelyÂ appraiseÂ youÂ withÂ theÂ completeÂ detailsÂ asÂ wellÂ asÂ sendÂ youÂ theÂ documents,withÂ whichÂ youÂ areÂ toÂ proceedÂ andÂ iÂ shallÂ directÂ onÂ howÂ toÂ putÂ upÂ anÂ applicationÂ toÂ theÂ bank.
UponÂ theÂ receiptÂ ofÂ yourÂ reply,Â IÂ willÂ sendÂ youÂ byÂ faxÂ orÂ E-mailÂ theÂ nextÂ stepÂ toÂ take.IÂ willÂ notÂ failÂ toÂ bringÂ toÂ yourÂ noticeÂ thatÂ thisÂ proposalÂ isÂ hitch-freeÂ andÂ thatÂ youÂ shouldÂ notÂ entertainÂ anyÂ fearsÂ asÂ theÂ requiredÂ arrangementsÂ haveÂ beenÂ madeÂ forÂ theÂ completionÂ ofÂ thisÂ transfer.LikeÂ IÂ haveÂ implied,Â IÂ requireÂ onlyÂ aÂ solemnÂ confidentialityÂ onÂ this.