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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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 next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "ENG. HENRY NOAH" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2018 23:09:41 +0800
Subject: Hello......Mutual Transaction.
I know this Letter will come to you as a surprise, though I do not intend to embarrass you. Let me start by formally introducing My self to you. I am Enigeer Henry Noah, a personal contractor to late Mr.Adolf , a German who died in a tragic motor accident by running into a stationery Trailer without warning sign on December 26 , 2006 in London.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the fund valued at ($7,200,000.00) Seven Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars, left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank where this huge amount was deposited.
The said Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty one official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you.
Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.
I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.
All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement.
I look forward to receive your response.I will send you my mobile number if you don't mind.
Engineer Henry Noah