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 united states 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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "TINUOLA FALOYE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 19:04:55 +0100
Subject: ***YOUR COMPENSATION***
It has been a long time now,am sorry for entire loss of communication,it was due to some problem i had lately,I am also happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds out of Lloyd's bank under the cooperation of a new partner from Africa. Presently I'm in Paraguay for some investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts and for the fact that you kept our communication secret all this while,despite that it failed then.i wish to show some appreciation for that. kindly get in touch with my stock manager in Africa where we shared the money.Find below his contact information.
Name: Lucky Ogiame
Alpha Brokers Nigeria L.T.D
E- mail: email@example.com
Ask him to send you the total $800,000;00 (Eight hundred thousand united states dollars) certified bank Cheque, which I made in your favor for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempt in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touch with him and give him your address where to send the draft to you.Please do let me know immediately you receive the Cheque to enable us share the joy after all the sufferings at that time.I will be offline for a while.