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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +447031997551 (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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Spain; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Yusuff Ocalan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 16:30:13 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: FROM YUSUFF OCALAN.
FROM YUSUFF OCALAN
Peace be unto you my good friend. I am the only surviving child of Abdullah
Ã-calan,The leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).My father actively
fought for the liberation and unification of our people (The Kurds) under
one sovereign nation which earned him the support of many and being branded
a rebel by others.He amassed a lot of money garnered from supporters and
sympathizers alike from which he kept quite a lot for his family's use.l
will want you to go through this site and know more about Abdullah Ã-calan.
Before his sudden arrest in 1999,he confided in me the where about of this
money which is ($45Mand)Fourth five Million united State Dollars and
instructed me to find means of investing the funds far away from the reach
of the Turkish government who have frozen most of the accounts and assets of
the PKK.I need you to invest this money for the benefit of my three year old
son Hassan.He is all that is left of the Ã-calan family.A few months ago I
was diagnosed with cancer and was told by doctors that I have no long time
to live.My dear father will not be released by the Turkish government any
time soon.All I ask of you is to assist in the transfer and investment of
the funds in a neutral country on behalf of my son hassan until he is of
l want you to send to me your contact address,your phone number,your
Occupation and your Age.Once you get back to me,l will tell you on how you
can contact the bank where the money is deposited. Right now i am in the
hospital where i ran to with my only son in london here is the address and
my phone number Please help me.
here is there address;
The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust
Please make sure your send your reply here:email@example.com