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.
- 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.
- +447035993289 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ricardo Lewis" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 07:20:32 +0800
Subject: Re: Your Are Officially Informed
My name is Mr. Ricardo Lewis of the International Monetary Fund investigation unit. Attached pictures was received and forwarded to our office here in London UK today the 15TH of APRIL, 2010 requesting that your unclaimed fund be paid to Janet Williams.
In the said letter of change of beneficiary/ownership, representatives of Janet Williams states that you are dead and as such your fund should be paid to her as the next of kin to you.
Because of the elaborate global scam, we decided to contact you for confirmation. If after seven working days, no response is received from you, it will be assumed that you are dead and as such authorization and approval will be granted on behalf of Janet Williams to claim/receive your fund.
Confirm this pictures and reconfirm your Information and how you want your fund paid to you without further delay if you are still alive. Send your response to my email address: email@example.com
Below is the information you are expected to re-confirm,
1. Full Name:___________________
4. Age:_____ Date of Birth:__________
7. State of Origin:_____Country:_____
8. Driver's lincence:________________
9. Copy Of Your Identity:____________
You can also call for clarification +447035993289
Mr. Ricardo Lewis
Director Of The Funds Office Of Budget.
International Monetary Fund Investigation Unit.