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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447024099921 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dean Harry Chambers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 05:36:53 -0500 (EST)
This is to notify you that late Mr. Rolf Hoffmann made you a beneficiary
to his WILL. He left the sum of twelve million, thirty thousand United
States Dollars($12,030,000.00) in the codicil to his Will and last
testament. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you but it is true.
You are hereby required by this notification to Confirm your ownership to
this Legacy. You shall be detailed on the procedure in benefiting this
upon the receipt of your response, contact Dean Harry Esq. via email:
A telephone call would be as well appreciated;
Tell: +44 702 409 9921
+44 702 401 0513
Yours in service,
Dean Harry & Associates