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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Peter Collins." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 03:23:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: CONTACT MY SECRETARY FOR YOUR COMPENSATION of (US1.500.000.00).
Hello Dear Good Friend,,
This is to inform you about my success in getting the money moved under the co-operation of a new partner from London. Presently, I'm in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of investing my own share of the money. Meanwhile I didn't forget youâre past efforts and attempts to assisting me to move the fund even do we were not successful. Now contact my account officer in Benin-Republic on the listed contact bllow immediately:
Name: Mr. James Brown
Email :( email@example.com)
Tel: +229 98488 471.
Ask him to send you a cheque sum of (US$1.500.000.00) One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars. Which I kept for you as compensation for all your past efforts and attempt to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time so much. While contacting Mr.James Brown, Please include and i give him instructions on where to send the money to you. I will advise you to contact him with this information:
Dr. Peter Collins.