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 beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Fred Wilson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 08:41:50 +0100
Subject: Reconfirm This Now ......Or Kiss Your $25 Million Goodbye!!!!!
It is with gladness, i write you this message, to congratulate you on the successful release of the sum of $25 Million USD to you, Credited to Online Bank ATM Card account that was set up for you in our bank the Intercontinental Bank Plc.
The Metropolitan Courier is unable to complete the Delivery of your ATM Card with the details we received from IMF, so we require some more information in order to complete this transfer.
Your Full Names:__ ___________
Contact Address:__ ___________
Mobile Phone:__ ___________
Home Phone:__ ___________
Marital Status:_ ____________
In order to resolve this problem, Please email us immediately. As soon as this information is received.
Thank you as we anticipate your prompt response.
Mr Renee Nowak