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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Timothy Loh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2022 19:39:39 -0800
My name is Timothy Loh LLP. I am a leading Hong Kong attorney specialize in corporate and litigation law private equity, hedge funds, investment funds, financial services, banking, and bankruptcy practices l am internationally recognized.
It may surprise you to receive this letter from me, since there has been no previous correspondence between us. I will also like to make it clear here that l know that the internet has been grossly abused by criminal minded people making it difficult for people with genuine intention to correspond and exchange views without skepticism.
There are unclaimed funds held by our deceased client.
The transaction pertains to an unclaimed Funds savings monetary deposit in the sum of Sixteen Million, Nine Hundred Thousand US Dollars ($16,900,000) with one of the prime global Finance Companies. The policy holder was one of our clients and Italian actress Lucia BosÃ¨. who was a film actress who died on March 23 of pneumonia after contracting COVID-19. . Since Her death no one has come forward for the claim and all our efforts to locate his relatives have proved unsuccessful. The Finance company policy stipulates that âFunds" not claimed must be turned over to the abandoned property division of the state treasury after the deadline.
Therefore, I ask for your consent to be in partnership with me for the claim of these Funds, If you permit me to add your name to the policy Funds, all proceeds will be processed on your behalf. I wish to point out that I want 10% of this money to be shared among charity organizations while the remaining 90% will be shared between us.
This is 100% risk free and 100% legal. I do have all necessary documentation to expedite the process in a highly professional and confidential manner. I will provide all the relevant documents to substantiate your claim as the beneficiary. This claim requires a high level of confidentiality and it may take up to Ten (10) business days, from the date of receipt of your consent.
Your earliest response to this matter would be highly appreciated,