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 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.
- +22998221038 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Denis" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 23:20:55 +0200
Subject: PLEASE,CAN YOU WORK WITH ME
My name is Prince Denis. I need an entrepreneur who has great business initiatives to partner
with me in a multimillion dollar business. I was set up and jailed because of my late fathers belongings.
I am now out of jail and seek a partner to help retrieve my late fathers belongings.
I have all documents for claim and need financial assistance to retrieve my funds to enable me invest them.
I have big quantity of gold deposited with a storage company in Europe, If you can get a buyer,
then we can sell the gold at a giveaway price to finance my financial business.
Respond only if you are interested to proceed with me. Include your direct phone number as you reply.