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:
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Wilson Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 06:21:42 +0700
Subject: Official Notification!!
I am a Diplomat named Mr. Willson Smith, mandated to deliver your inheritance to you in your country of residence. The funds total US$7.5 Million and you were made the beneficiary of these funds by a benefactor whose details will be revealed to you after handing over the funds to you in accordance with the Agreement I signed with the benefactor when he enlisted my assistance in delivering the funds to you. I am presently at JFK Airport in the United States of America and before I can deliver the funds to you, you have to reconfirm the following information so as to ensure that I am dealing with the right person 1.Full Name
5.Direct Telephone Numbers
After verification of the information with what I have on file,I shall contact you so that we can make arrangements on the exact time I will be bringing your package to your residential address. Send the requested information so that we can proceed.
Regards Mr Wilson Smith.