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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: world bank <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 09:47:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION
United Nations Plaza New York , NY 10017 , USA
From the desk of,
General, UN Org.
is Mr. Ban
Ki-Moon. The Secretary General of (UNITED NATIONS) I would
advise you to contact Mr. JOSEF ACKERMANN (Managing
Director/Chief Executive OF DEUTSCHE BANK AG GERMANY, on his
personal E-mail (email@example.com).
Please send him your full name, address, age and telephone numbers and a copy
of your int.passport for confirmations and release off your COMPENSATION
valued ($9.5Million) offered in your name. AS UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION FOR