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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Lloyds TSB Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 05:50:00 -0700
Subject: Urgent Responses.
I am Mr. Jawad James, Credit Accounting officer of
Lloyds TSB Bank.
I am contacting you for a possible business transfer worth 122.5 Million Pounds.
It will be in my interest to finish this transaction with you hoping that you will not cheat or blackmail me at the conclusion of this goal because i have planned it for long.
If you can be a collaborator to this transaction, please indicate your positive interest immediately for us to proceed. Remember this is absolutely confidential because my Bank does not know about it.
Your contact phone numbers and name will be necessary for this effect.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Mr. Jawad James
Credit Accounting Officer,
Lloyds TSB London