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 friend" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Raymond Walter" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:42:49 +0200
Subject: SINCERE COMPENSATION
I take this liberty to inform you that, the t r a n s a c t i o n we were pursing together, finally worked out by God's infinite mercy and I decided to contact you, just to let you know. I have conscience as a human being, due to your tremendous effort and contribution to make things work out in retrospect.
Meanwhile, I must inform you that, I am presently in London. I just arrived yesterday night and checked inn, in a hotel and decided to go down to the hotel computer room to mail you. Now, with my sincere heart, I have raised and signed a B a n k D r a f t, to the tune of USD$1M only in your name as C O M P E NS A T I O N to your dedication, humanity and contribution, as it were.
Please, contact now my secretary for s h i p m e n t of the D r a f t to you and forward to her your contact address, and phone number including your full legal name.
she is in the name of : Mrs Ann Ibekwe email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Raymond Walter