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:
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- 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 (Excite, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- director incharge of delivering unit e-maill address....email@example.com office mail...firstname.lastname@example.org (Excite, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "WILLIAM SMITH" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 16:39:12 +0100
Subject: CALL THE DIRECTOR NOW FOUR DAYS TO GO
This is to inform you about the outcome of the meeting with the bank A.T.M department.the fund $4.2 milion
usd has been activated into two card of a.t.m.the card contains $2.1 million each your a.t.m card numbers
are (0710) and (0711).you are to contact this company for immidaite delivery of your a.t.m card as the office
will close for the year on 24th december 2009.here is only your requirments,your package reg number is
xqd7819-sc,therefore contact the courier company by reconfirming your right info to them. such as your
name,your personel phone number,and your house address,the courier contact person is mr lewis kennedy
as the director incharge of delivering unit
Note this- The package was deposited as an express delivery,
regard william smith