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:
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +2348029508654 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "MAXWELL BROOKS" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 18:20:03 -0600
Subject: SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS.
FROM: Charterd Finance & Securities
SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS.
SCAMMED VICTIM/ $500,000 BENEFICIARIES.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE: CF&sc/02354 $500,000 USD.
This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the UNITED NATIONS
in Central Bank in conjuction with the WORLD BANK GROUP OF THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA to pay you victims of scam $500,000 USD (Five Hundred Thousand
Dollars). You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the
scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to this office as soon as
possible for the immediate payments of your $500,000 USD compensations funds.
Send a copy of your response to official email:
NAME: SCOTT WILLIAMS.
PHONE: 009 234 802-950-8654
SCAMMED VICTIM/REF/PAYMENTS CODE:
CF&sc/02354 $500,000 USD.
You are advise to foward your contact details to me immediately to enable us proceed and pay your compensation fund to you,such as your name,address,phone numbers,and country of origin.
Note: YOU ARE GOING TO PAY A FEE OF $155 Usd for the delivery of your parcel, if you are not interested please do not contact Mr. Scott Williams.
Mr. MAXWELL BROOKS