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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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.
- +447092878115 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Paul Edwards" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 17:54:57 -0800
Subject: (Response Requested) - 2nd Notification !!
I had sent an eairlier mail to you on this matter without a reply. I am Paul
Edwards the credit manager of CommerzBankR.
I want to discuss a proposal about a late family member's Fixed Deposit
Account at CommerzBankR.
Please contact me by email or telephone +44 1158 223108 for more information
Mr. Paul D. Edwards