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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447011148507 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Barrister Peterson Sadler Eqs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 02:03:52 -0900 (AKST)
Subject: Information About Your Relative Inheritance.
I am Peterson Sadler Esq, a solicitor at law in United Kingdom. I am the
personal attorney & sole executor to my late client Mr. Raymond who
worked as an independent oil magnate in my country, I require only a
solemn confidentiality, If this proposal is acceptable by you, I shall
provide you with more details.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of law. I will not fail to bring
to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not
entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the
completion of this transfer.
Please get in touch with me by my alternative email: email@example.com for
better confidentiality and send to me your Name and telephone numbers to
enable us discuss further on this transaction. My contact number is +44
701 114 8507. If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue
advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you, see attachment for more
information. Thanks for your understanding.
Peterson Sadler Esq