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)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rebecca Ault" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 12:46:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Your Well Deserved Compensation.
I did not forgot your past efforts and attempts to assist me, now Iâm happy to inform you that I have succeeded in getting those funds transferred into my new partner's account.Â Now Contact my secretary ask him for US$2.700, 000.00 (In Certified Draft) being your compensation. His Name is : Mr. Paul Flink. his contact information is as given below.
Phone: +229 93816266Â
Also proceed to reconfirm your personal information as below:
Youâre full Name: __________________
Delivery address: __________________
Mobile Telephone __________________
Mrs. Rebecca Ault