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:
- "inheritance funds" (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.
- 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.
- +447045765861 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448704714591 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Sir. Paul Bryant" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 23:52:39 -0700
Subject: YOUR (US$16.5M) INHERITANCE FUNDS HAS BEEN RELEASED
49, Featherstone Street,
London, EC 1Y 8SY
Fax: +44 8704 714591
We the entire members of the Royal House of Treasury, on behalf of the Government of Great Britain, under the auspices of the Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England II held a meeting this week concerning payment, both foreign and local contractors and some inheritance funds which were not released to the right benefactors.
Her Royal Majesty, has just informed this office (Royal House of Treasury)that All the listed contractors and Inheritance funds benefactors which their CONTRACT PAYMENT SUM AND INHERITANCE FUNDS were not paid to should be released to them with effect.
We discovered that your payment listed to us Sixteen million five hundred thousand dollars (US$16.5M), you are advised to respond with effect so that we will process your payment to be made in any form you wish to receive your funds.
Kindly respond to this office so that your payment will be process and transferred under 72hours of receiving this email, you can contact us on this telephone number +44-704-576-5861 for a voice confirmation.
On going through files yesterday, we discovered that your file was dumped untreated, so at this juncture, we apologize for the delay of your payment and please stop communicating with any office now and attention to the appointed office below for you to receive your payment accordingly.
Now your new Payment Reference No.-35460021, Allocation No: 674632 Password No : 339331 , Pin Code No: 55674 and your Certificate of Merit Payment No : 103 , Released Code No: 0763; Immediate Telex confirmation No: -1114433 ; Secret Code No: XXTN013, Having received these vital payment number, therefore You are qualified now to received and confirm Your payment with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland immediately within 72hours You are directed to reconfirm your full detailed information, as stated:
FULL NAME, HOME ADDRESS, ZIP / POSTAL CODE, PROFESSION and MARITAL STATUS, AGE, ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION, HOME PHONE NUMBER or CELL PHONE NUMBER as well as time to call you on the phone.
Sir. Paul Bryant
Royal House of Treasury