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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- will open communication. fax: 1-518-671-4938. email: firstname.lastname@example.org email:email@example.com please you are advice to (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Kelly Susan" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 20:08:44 +0100
Subject: PAYMENT OF US $12.5 MILLION APPROVED PAYMENT FOR IMMEDIAT RELEASE 184.108.40.206
Federal Reserve Bank New York
International Remittance Department
33 Liberty Street, N.Y 10045
PAYMENT OF US $12.5 MILLION APPROVED PAYMENT FOR IMMEDIAT RELEASE.
It's very necessary to inform you that your fund is presently assigned to release to you through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Right now the Federal Government of Nigeria account officer in charge of conducting payments from the Nigeria government foreign reserve account with the Federal Reserve Bank NY is now with your payment and you are advised to contact the account payment supervisor in charge of your payment right away through the Federal government of Nigeria via Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Telephone: After due verification we will open communication.
Please you are advice to reconfirm your information once again:
1. Your Full names:
2. Your complete Postal Address:
3. Your Telephone number:
4. Your fax number:
5. Your Occupation:
7. Marital Status:
Ensure to send the requirements by fax and call Mr. Richard Ford so you can discuss with him your exact payment which you are supposed to receive however the sum of $12.5 million USD has already been approved for payment into your nominated bank account through field wirer transfer your urgent response is hilly thanks for your kind understanding.
Mrs Kelly Susan.