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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Blessing Okon"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 15:51:26 +0100
Subject: Urgent Attention Needed..
This is to Officially inform you that we have verified your inheritance file and found out that why you have not received your payment are because you have not fulfilled the obligation given to you in respect of your contract/iheritance payment.
Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with the non officials in the bank your entire attempt to secure the release of the fund to you. We wish to advise you that such an illegal act like these have been stop if you wish to receive your payment since we have decided to bring a solution to your problem. Right now we have arranged your payment through our swift card payment centre Asia pacific that is the lastest instruction from President Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR) Federal Republic Of Nigeria and F.B.I.
This card centre will send you an international atm card which has been mandated to issue out to you eleven million usd as part payment and you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. The maximum is twenty thousand dollars per day, so if you like to receive your fund this way please let us know by contacting Dr. Mansur Muhtar on his email address:(email@example.com)telephone(+234-802-5844297) and also send the following information:
(1)Your full name..........(2)Cellphone............(3)Resident address.............(4)Your age and current occupation............
Secretary to the presidency