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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your payment is being processed" (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.
- 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.
- +447011174819 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "HM TREASURY" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 14:40:31 -0700
Subject: SW1A 2HQ.
Royal House of Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
LONDON SW1A 2HQ.
We the entire members of the Hm Treasury, on behalf of the Government of Great Britain, under the auspices of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England II held a meeting this week concerning payments, both foreign/local contractors and some inheritance funds which were not released to the right benefactors.
Her Royal Majesty has just informed this office (Hm Treasury) that all the listed contractors and Inheritance funds benefactors which their CONTRACT PAYMENT SUM AND INHERITANCE FUNDS were not paid to should be released to them with immediate effect.
The Government Accountancy Service (GAS) discovered that your payment listed to us Also, your new Payment Reference No.-35460021, Allocation No: 674632 and your Certificate of Merit Payment No: 103, Released Code No: 0763; Immediate Telex confirmation No: -1114433; Having received these vital payment number, therefore You are qualified now to received and confirm Your payment with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland immediately within 72hours. Please keep these above stated numbers for your personal perusal just incase for proof that you rightfully own The payment.
However, I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter. Also note that from the records presented to the bank your outstanding inheritance contract ayment is amounted to the sum of 3.2 (THREE MILLION, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS STERLING),You are directed to reconfirm your full detailed information to my email address.
1) Your full name#.
2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) Residential address#.
4) Company name, Office position and Company address.
5) Profession, Age and marital.
6) Working I\"d / Int\"l passport.
As soon as this information is received, your payment will be made to you, As a result of the on-going drive of the Federal Ministry of Finance to update its books and clear overdue payments to all rightful beneficiaries / heirs, I strongly recommend that you promptly and humbly Respond to this notification letter immediately and call me for confirmation.
Best Regards ,
Mr. Kelvin Ross Communications Manager DAR
+44 70111 74819