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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "charles soludo" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Interpol John Brown" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 13:25:31 -0700
Subject: FROM INTERNATIONAL POLICE UNIT, REGARDING RECOVERY OF YOUR LOST MONEY.
FROM INTERNATIONAL POLICE UNIT, REGARDING RECOVERY OF YOUR LOST MONEY.
Call us @ our zonal office for more clearification +234-802276-7287 Email via (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Attention : Beneficiary,
My name is Interpol John Brown, we are fraud investigating international police attached with United Nations international police unit Cotonou We cover West African country with our men. We discovered that you are among the list of foreigners that fell victims of fraudulent activities of some scam men here.
>From our investigation, we discovered that you have lost some money to fulfill your endless financial obligation with these criminals I discovered that MANY who claim to be YOUR PARTNER AND FRIEND IN BUSINESS INCLUDING YOUR PRESENT BUSINESS PARTNER used your money to buy properties here ,however, they are now on
the run but they would be writing you from hiding due to mobile internet services.
We also found out that you sent money to THEM WITH HOPE OF MAKING A BIG MONEY Please we want to know how much you send to THEM, to enable us include it in the money we are proposing to return to you immediately.
They are the people that told you series of sweet good stories ,and you believe them not knowing they are scam artist.We need your absolute cooperation to enable us recover all your fund and send it back to you so that you reposition your damaged financial life.
Note,that those who claim to be your partner are corrupt citizens and have already distributed your Funds among themselves and the names of this hoodlums are,we have already arrested .Charles Soludo, while Shamsudeen Usman is on the run so you have to be very careful in all your dealing with anyone henceforth,infact you are been advise to forward all further correspondent's to my private email for further investigation.
Those properties that was acquired with your Money has been seized by my men and was auctioned for $4.5 Million Dollars and this proceed will be directly paid to you either as cash consignment delivery or Atm master to protect you from any breach of the law or prob. for Money laundry act or terrorism.
Be advise to make available the informations below so that we can be able to process your payment and always email us via email : email@example.com
1,your full names and address
2,your age and sex
3,Occupation and status
4,Private mobile numbers for easy communication
5,A copy of your drivers lisence for proper identification.
Note,that you have two options of payment : 1,cash consignment delivery of the recovered fund $4.5 Million to your address :2,Swift Atm master card account containing the total payment of $4.5 Million.
Do indicate your proffered option to enable us carry on with the payment arrangement.
If need be for further inquiry concerning this recovery of your lost fund,do call me urgent via private mobile +234-802276-7287
Thank you for your cooperation.
Interpol John Brown
Chief inspector of crime and fraud Interpol.
Interpol is the world's largest international police organization, with 186 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime. Interpol aims to facilitate international police co-operation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries. Action is taken within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Interpol's constitution prohibits 'any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.' Interpol's Leadership The President of Interpol and the Secretary General work closely together in providing strong leadership and direction to the Organization