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)
- "huge deposit" (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: Kelvin Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2021 12:42:15 +0700
Subject: Inheritance Claim
I am highly delighted to be in contact with you sorry for the
Embarrassment this mail might be to you as we have not meet or known
each other before. My name is Kelvin Williams, I was the Personal
Attorney to Late Mr. Roy Hall a national of your country, who was a
contractor and spent most of his life in my country England UK.
He and his Family were involved in a car accident along Manchester
Stretch and unfortunately lost their lives on the 27th day of
September 2003 in London. Since then I have made several inquiries to
your countryâs embassy to locate any of my Client's extended relatives
but this has proved unsuccessful hence, he has no next-of-kin at the
time of his death after these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided
to contact you since all my effort to trace or locate any member of
family failed me so that you as a foreigner will assist me as my late
Clientâs next-of-kin in repatriating the assets and Capital valued
$5,600.000.00 USD left behind by my late Client before it gets
confiscated by the Bank where this huge deposit was lodged. The said
Bank in London has issued me a notice to provide the Next of Kin or
have the deposit confiscated.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating any of my Client's
relatives, I seek your consent to present you as the Next-of-kin to
the deceased, so that the deposit can be paid to you therefore, on
receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing
ratio and modalities for claim. I have all the necessary information
and legal documents needed to back you up for the 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
a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the
law both in the UK, your Country and Internationally. I will be very
happy to hear from you, i have agreed to part with 50% percentage of
the total amount as your own share of the money for assisting me in
this deal. We shall also map out percentage of this money to take care
of incidental expenses that may arise in the course of this
transaction. Immediately this funds is being remitted into your
account, note that high degree of trust is required from you.
Mr. Kelvin Williams