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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ted Sheppe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 13:30:13 -0700
Subject: PLEASE WORK WITH ME.
Please kindly work with me in this transaction for you will not regret
it at all.
First of all, I contacted you for us to work in this transaction
because you are bearing the same last name identity with a deceased
customer of our bank, therefore I
can present you as the true next of kin to his inheritance fund in our
bank since myself as his account manager and his personal attorney has
all his files in our disposal.
I therefore reckoned that you could receive these funds as you are
qualified by your name identity. All the legal papers will be
processed and perfected to your name as the deceased true next of kin.
Please kindly get back to me for further details if you are interested
to work with in this beneficial transaction.