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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447024099731 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rhodes K.A" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 16:44:31 -0700
Subject: RE: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS TRANSACTION:
* RE: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS TRANSACTION:*
Attention : Please,
I am Mr. Kelvin A. Rhodes Finance Director of Barclay's Bank here in United
Kingdom. I am contacting you for a possible business transfer worth
£35.7million Pounds Sterling.
It will be in my interest to finish this transaction with you hoping that
you will not cheat or blackmail me at the conclusion of this goal because i
have planned it for long.
If you can be a collaborator to this transaction, please indicate your
positive interest immediately for us to proceed. Remember this is absolutely
confidential because my Bank does not know about it.
For the confidentiality of this transaction kindly contact me using:
Your contact phone numbers and name will be necessary for this effect.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Mr. Kelvin Murco
Office:+44 702 409 9731
Telephone:+44 702 409 9603