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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alexander John Howard" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 21:33:19 +0300
Subject: Notification Of Funds Transfer
Sorry to have invaded your privacy; I am Alexander John Howard account officer in PNC Bank. I have a business proposal for you and I need your sincerity and dedication to go along with. A contractor made a deposit for 12 Years valued at US$27,000,000.00 (Twenty Seven Million United States Dollars Only).
As my job demand, I sent a routine notification to his forwarded address but got no reply. After a month, we discovered from his closest associate, that the depositor had died. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a (WILL). And behold the money (THE DEPOSIT) is still there in my bank without anybody coming to claim beneficiary.
However, my proposal to you is that I want to front you as the (RIGHTFUL BENEFICIARY to the fund i.e the Next of kin). If this transaction interest you, kindly let me know so I can advice you on how we are going to execute this deal successfully. Above all, indicate your interest by sending me an email. to my private e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander John Howard