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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Rufus Damida" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 01:33:14 +0100
Subject: Attention Valued Beneficiary,
Attention Valued Beneficiary,
We are obliged to inform you that we have succeeded in resolving all related problems that has held the transfer impossible. With the help of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) who have rendered a tremendous help to this Exercise.
We regret to announce the mismanagement of beneficiaries fund by our appointed zonal managers; we are not able to meet up with winners fund due to list of names due for payment.
In appreciation of your patients and understanding to receive your fund we have decided to compensate you with the sum of ($950,000.00) through (ATM) payment from any ATM MACHINE CENTER IN THE WORLD.Your identification code IS UKTNL5632 for your compensation.
You are to contact our coordinator officer Mr. Austin Richards , Access management and support initiatives, a consultant firm on his e-mail address: (email@example.com) Please do send him your:-
(2)CONTACT ADDRESS :
4)AGE & SEX:
(7)COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
(8)STATE OF ORIGIN:
(9)BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR COMPANY.
Do not hesitate to let us know immediately you receive your fund so that we can take account of how many beneficiaries were paid
Mr Rufus Damida