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:
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "From Mr Henry Carr" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 15:36:28 -0700
Subject: From Mr Henry Carr
From: Mr Henry Car
This is to inform you that your funds of US$5 Million has been
approved and will be deliver to you through the service of A Diplomat .
You are hereby advised to forward these details to this office below:
(1) Your Full Names:
(2) Complete Address with Zip Code:
(3) Direct Telephone Number for easy access of communication.
(4) Date of Birth (Day/Month/Year)
(6) A promissory note that you will pay me 10% for as a compensation after you
received your fund
The Funds will be delivering to you within a maximum of 48 hours on
receiving the requested details.
The information should therefore be sent in the manner stated below so as
to ensure that no mistake is made.
Mr. Henry Carr