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 states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Yuval" <email@example.com>
Date: 20 Nov 2019 18:04:55 +0300
Subject: Business For Us
My name is Yuval Rose, a Client Relations officer at one of
Canadaâs foremost Crypto-currency exchange platforms. This is a
private and confidential message from me to you and I request
that it be treated as such.
I am contacting you with respect to an urgent issue regarding a
Bitcoin account belonging to a deceased account holder. The
Bitcoin (500 BTC) which was valued at over 4.6 Million United
States Dollars was sold and converted to cash at the request of
the late account holder for onward deposit to an account to be
advised by her. Upon liquidation, we waited for months for info
on the bank account for the deposit but never got a feedback.
Upon inquiry, it was confirmed that she passed away (died) after
a cancer related ailment.
At a meeting held 2 weeks ago by my Companyâs Management on the
matter, it was resolved that unless a Next of Kin or any relative
of the late account Holder comes forward for claim of the funds
on or before 30th of December 2019 (which is practically
impossible) the whole funds would be converted back to Bitcoin
and becomes part of the Company's portfolio.
With the above in mind, I decided to quickly reach out to you so
that you can apply to my company for claim of this fund in the
capacity of a Next-of-Kin/Relative. Rest assured that this is a
straight forward process with no risks involved whatsoever. Start
to finish of the process with fund deposited in your nominated
bank account can be achieved within a space of 10 banking days or
less. All that I require from you is full cooperation and
I will await your reply and indication of interest to give you
further/complete details including sharing ratio.