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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Admin" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 22:22:15 -0800
Subject: SECOND NOTICE^
We wish to notify you again that your name was mentioned as heir to the sum=
of $750,000.00 US DOLLARS, in the last testament of our deceased client. I=
and my Debt detectives Recovery Unit team, we are assisting distant relati=
ves of people who have died with or without making any official WILL.
As the team of detective, the race is now on for us to track down the ofte=
n distant relatives in line for a windfall. We came across your profile and=
email while searching through genealogy database. Note, our aim is to assi=
st people claim their lost relative fortune.Please send an acknowledgment e=
mail to enable us process your inheritance with all due verification proces=
I look forward to hearing from you.