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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22993817574 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Wilfred <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 15:01:24 -0500
Subject: HELLO DEAR
I am the Head of Operations in Africa Development Bank, Benin Cotonou. I have a business proposal
in the tune of US$12.3 Million to be transferred to an offshore account with your
assistance if willing.
I do solicit for your assistance in effecting this transaction,I intend to give 30%
of the total funds as compensation for your assistance,if interested I will send you
the full transaction details on receipt of your response.
You can contact me on my private email:(firstname.lastname@example.org) and send me the following information
for documentation purpose:
(2)private phone number:
(3)current residential address:
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dr Wilfred fred S/A
Tel+229 9381 7574
Este mensaje ha sido analizado por MailScanner
en busca de virus y otros contenidos peligrosos,
y se considera que está limpio.
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