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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 11:12:24 +0600
We the PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE Group board of directors like to officially
congratulate you for the draw that was just held by our company which featured you as
the second place winner. Our company holds each year, based on the random selection
exercise of internet service providers (ISP) and millions of Super market cash invoices
worldwide, this promotion is just one of various ways we are presently using to achieve
this global vision of ours. Your email address with MICROS ID (PCHM-6669-GFK-891BK-544)
was luckily drawn to be this year's second place winner of £1,000,000.00GBP plus a
brand new Range Rover SUV from the PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE; new year promotion.. This
money and gift we believe will enable you make some impact in the society and possibly
invest in our company in the near future. For details of claims,Kindly contact Mr.Nick
Ward Via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org With your
info.Name,Address,Country,Occupation,Winning e-mail,Tell/Sex,Micros ID.