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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.David Ramcharan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 16:11:34 +0100
Please I am writing to notify you again on my intention to list your name as a beneficiary to the total sum of GBP6.350 million (Six million, Three hundred and fifty thousand British Pounds Sterlings) in the intent of the deceased (name now withheld since this is my second letter to you).
I contacted you because you bear the surname identity and therefore can present you as the beneficiary to inherit the account proceeds of the deceased since there is no written "WILL" or trace to the deceased family relatives. My aim is to present you to my Bank Authorities as the Next of Kin to our deceased client. I will guide you all through
the Claim procedure by providing all relevant Information and guiding you in your decisions and response to the Bank Management. All the papers will be processed after your acceptance.
In your acceptance of this deal, I request that you kindly forward to me your letter of acceptance; your current telephone and fax numbers ,age, occupational status and a forwarding address to enable me submit to the Bank Management the details as the Next of Kin to their deceased customer. Reply strictly through: email@example.com