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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- +448712565278 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Richard Leigh Clifford" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 22:47:33 -0700
Subject: Reply Urgently
With merging of my bank Abn Amro N.V. with Barclay's Bank Plc United Kingdom, I was made head of service in my department by the Boards of directors of my bank ABN AMRO N.V. (The Netherlands) to compile all credit accounts that has been in operation with the bank under my department/supervision. Details About The Merging News Visit The Web Sitebelow:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6469417.stm
Through my compilation of accounts, I discovered a credit account with A/C N0:NL85ABNA6008341843 and (7,467,000.00 Euros) deposited, On further trace came across the file and found out that the account has be inactive for more than Nine (10) years.The true owner of this funds/ account was Engineer Christian Eich, a German who Ran carmaker BMW's museum unfortunately lost his life,including his wife and two children in the plane crash (Flight AF4590) which crashed on July 31st 2000 killing all 109 people on board. Details About The Plane Crash Visit The WebSite Below: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
Regarding the short period of Twenty-One (21) working days allowed confirming and submitting the reports by the Board of directors of my bank, which may lead to the cancellation or terminating of the account.I have chosen to seek your consent to work with me as a team and pull out this fund under the legitimacy as the heir apparent of Late Engineer Christian Eich.Contact me immediately with your full Name, Address,Age,Occupation, telephone and fax Numbers about the Details and modalities of this project/ transaction to my private email address (email@example.com) soon as this is done, i will proceed with the necessary formalities.
Richard Leigh Clifford
(Auditor) Abn-Amro Bank