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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: peter williams <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 12:09:07 +0000
Subject: My Dear Friend
My Dear Friend,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? You may not understand why this mail came to you. But if you do not remember me, you might have receive an email from me in the past regarding a Multi-Million-dollar investment projects proposal which we never concluded.
I am using this opportunity to inform you that this Multi-Million-Dollar investment projects has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from Germany who financed the projects to a logical conclusion. I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished projects due to one reason or the other best known to you. But I want to inform you that the projects is going on successfully here in Germany. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed during the course of the investment.
I have mapped out some Compensation for you, I will like you to contact my Personal Secretary Mr. Tom Mark for collection of your ATM Card worth ($1,200,000.00) us dollars which is cash-able in ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD. I instructed and authorized him to send the ATM Card to you whenever you contact him regarding to that. Note, at the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects, which I and the new partner are having at hand. I will also like to invite you to join us in the ongoing investment projects here in Germany as soon as you received your fund. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart, also comply with Mr.Tom directives so that he will send the ATM Card to you Without any delay.
Contact: Mr.Tom Mark.
His Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Therefore, you should send him your full contact information such as; your full Name and Direct Telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the draft to you.
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Hoping to hear from you.
Mr. Peter Williams.