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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Customer Service <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2021 11:01:42 +0200
Subject: Re:Urgent Message From Rose Williams
Compliment of the day, I know that this letter must come to you as a big surprise since we have not come into contact with each other or know ourselves before but I believe that circumstances can bring people together and they become great friends and business partners. I got your email through my private search and I decided to reach you through this medium.
My name is Ms. Rose Williams, a banker, and an account officer to late Andreas Schranner a German property magnate who came to United States in 1997, he was a successful business mogul but died in Concord AF4590 crash in the year 2000 along side with his entire family,
Please check on this below,
Before his death, my client deposited the sum of (US$35.5M) thirty five million, five hundred thousand United States Dollars in our bank here in US. It has been called to my attention that the NEW US LAW of succession/inheritance claims indicates a duration in which such claims could be tolerated. I have recently been mandated by our bank as his account officer, demanding me to search, present the next of kin/beneficiary to late Andreas Schranner a German property magnate to whom the bank will pay the fund to. Failure to respond to this ultimatum would legally allow this financial institution to make comments on the funds and return it to US treasury as unclaimed funds. I want to present you as his next of kin/beneficiary provided you have a studied good business investment where part of the fund will be invested while both of us will share the remaining money as we agreed upon.
I and my colleagues have succeeded in reuniting all the necessary requirements concerning the release of the fund and it is my intention to present this opportunity to you as the beneficiary/next of kin should you accept my proposal. Please note that I'm legally equipped with all the necessary information/documentations concerning this fund. Upon your decision to accept the proposal I will process the release of this fund to your possession. Please note that you will be entitled to a reasonable percentage of the funds. For security reasons, I have decided not to add more information to this letter, but immediately you get in touch with me with your contact details, I would be able to inform you on how this could be concluded.
Send me the followings:
1. Your name and address:
2. Your working mobile phone number for oral explanation:
3. Your identification/ Country of origin:
4.Your bank account where to remit the money.: