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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "OVERSEES CREDIT COMMISION" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 05:52:14 -0700
Subject: Payment confirmation from Oversea Credit Commission
On behalf of the board and management of Overseas Credit Commission (OCC), London UK and the United Nations Foreign debt buy-back negotiation committee, I Mr.Norman Frederick John , the Operations Manager wishes to inform you that your name appeared on our list as one of the people being owed funds due for sometime to be paid to you as inheritance/contract payment.However,due to the present world economic recession your debtors has agreed to pay through our supervision the sum of $5.7 million dollars out of the amount owed.Your payment Ref:Number is 1226/X42/206.Please quote this in your correspondence with us.
Be informed that we have concluded all arrangments to release the funds without any further delay. In line with the binding international transfer policies, kindly furnish us with the following as set forth.
1.A copy of your international passport or any other means of identification as the true beneficiary
2.your address,your phone number,age and occupation for verification vis-avis the data in our file.
Meanwhile, we urge you to treat the above requirement with utmost urgency to enable us dispense our duties and obligation accordingly thereby allowing us to serve you in a timely fashion
Upon satisfactory receipt of all the above mentioned, you will be further acquainted with the detailed payment itinerary including information of the designated bank that will handle the transfer of your funds.We understand that this payment has dragged on for long making numerous agencies to be contacting you.You are adviced to stop any further contact with them as the OCC/UNO now has the funds and authority to pay you.Any continued correspondence with any of these bodies will hamper the processing of your transfer.Please BE WARNED.
As always, feel very free to contact us should you have any further question as our customers rights are continuously protected. We pledge our best service at all times.
Mr.Norman Frederick John
Foreign Operations Manager,
(OCC) Oversea Credit Commission, London Uk.