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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic delivery" ("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.
- 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.
- +2348087018307 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: johnson madu <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 14:16:37 +0000
Subject: CONTACT MR GODWIN AKA FOR FUND DELIVERY.
I AM REALLY SORRY FOR NOT CONTACTING YOU FOR A VERY LONG TIME HAVE BEEN
WORRIED SEEKING FOR A BETTER WAY FOR THE DIAMOND DIPLOMATIC FINANCE PLC,
TO TRANSFER YOUR FUND PACKAGE OF THE AMOUNT $1.MILLON USED. WITHOUT ANY MORE TROUBLES.
NOW,THEY AGREED TO USE THEIR DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY SERVICES TO CARGO YOUR
FUNDS TO YOU IN CASH AND MAKE THE DELIVERY TO YOUR HOUSE FOR PICK. NOW,I
WILL WANT YOU TO WRITE TO THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY
SERVICES AND ASK HIM THAT YOU WANT TO USE THEIR SERVICES TO DELIVER YOUR
FUNDS TO YOU AS INSTRUCTED BY THEIR SISTER COMPANY (DIAMOND DIPLOMATIC
FINANCE PLC,) WITH YOUR INFORMATION
1,YOUR FULL NAME......
I WILL WANT YOU TO WRITE THE PERSON IN CHARGE USING THE INFORMATION?
BELOW. NAME OF THE MANAGER IN CHARGE: (GEN GODWIN AKA ) EMAIL
ADDRESS:(firstname.lastname@example.org ) PHONE NUMBER (+234-8087018307)
THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOURS SINCERELY.
MR JOHNSON MADU.