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 Attasi Dodo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2020 12:40:49 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend
My name is Mr.Attasi Dodo, an attorney in our branch office here. A
deceased client of mine, business man and also own a gold Mining
Company/sales, who bears the same name as yours, died along with his
family many years ago without a WILL or next of kin.
He had a fixed deposit valued at the sum huge of money left behind
before he met his end. I contacted you so that I can present you as my
late client next of kin, so that the money can be transferred to your
account, and we will share the funds equally, 50/50% to both parties.