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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- information for your compensation. mr. paul eze email:firstname.lastname@example.org tel:+234-7084754050 ask him to send you the total sum of (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Richard Snowe" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 08:37:24 +0100
Subject: Contact My Secretary
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund transferred to a
Swiss Account with the cooperation of a new partner from Germany who is an
international business man. Presently I'm in London United Kingdom for
investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I did not
forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds
despite that it failed us some how. Now contact my secretary with below stated
information for your compensation.
Mr. Paul Eze
Ask him to send you the total sum of $850.000.00 (Eight Hundred and Fifty
Thousand US Dollars) which I kept for your compensation for all the past
Efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter I appreciated your efforts at
that time very much.
So feel free and get in touch with my secretary Mr. Paul Eze and instruct him
where to send the check containing the amount to you. Please do let me know
immediately you receive it. At the moment, I am very busy here because of the
investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand in London.