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)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "100% hitch free" (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.
- +447024035965 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "ANDREW A. MCELWEE JR" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 14:05:39 -1000
Subject: Read: Assistance needed
CHUBB INSURANCE COMPANY OF EUROPE S.E.
106 FENCHURCH STREET ,
LONDON EC3M 5NB UK .
CHUBB PERSONAL INSURANCE CASH ACCUMULATION MASTERPIECE POLICYHOLDER OWNERSHIP.
FORGIVE MY INDIGNATION IF THIS MESSAGE COMES TO YOU AS A SURPRISE AND MAY OFFEND YOUR PERSONALITY FOR CONTACTING YOU WITHOUT YOUR PRIOR CONSENT AND WRITING THROUGH THIS CHANNEL.I GOT YOUR CONTACT FROM A PROFESSIONAL DATABASE FOUND ON THE INTERNET WHILE SEARCHING FOR A RELIABLE AND HONEST PERSON THAT WILL ASSIST ME TO SAFE GUARDA FUND INTO AN ACCOUNT. I WAS DIVINELY INSPIRED TO PICK YOUR NAME AMONG ALL OTHER NAMES FOUND IN THE DATABASE.
MY NAME IS ANDREW MCELWEE JR. CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, PERSONAL INSURANCE DEPARTMENT OF THE CHUBB INSURANCE COMPANY OF EUROPE S.E. I AM WRITING IN RESPECT OF A FOREIGN CLIENT [MASTERPIECE POLICYHOLDER] OF THE ABOVE NAMED INSURANCE COMPANY [ENGR.WILLIAM F. ABRAHAMSON OF AMERICA] WHO PERISHED IN THE U.S 9/11/2001,TERRORIST ATTACK WITH OTHER PASSENGERS ABOARD AS YOU ARE AWARE OF THIS FACT OR CAN CONFIRM IT YOURSELF.
SINCE THE DEMISE OF ENGR.WILLIAM F. ABRAHAMSON, I PERSONALLY HAVE WATCHED WITH KEEN INTEREST TO SEE THE BENEFICIARY TO HIS MASTERPIECE POLICYHOLDER, BUT ALL HAS PROVED ABORTIVE AS NO ONE HAS REPORTED TO CLAIM HIS BENEFIT OF [PERSONAL INSURANCE CASH ACCUMULATION MASTERPIECE POLICYHOLDER OWNERSHIP] OF TOTAL SUM AMOUNTING TO 15,860 000.00 [FIFTEEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND POUNDS STERLING] ONLY, EXITING WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY WHEN ADDED UP THE FOLLOWING BONUS: BASIC ALLOWANCE, WAIVER PREMIUM AND ACCIDENTAL INDEMNITY, WHICH HAS BEEN WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY FOR A VERY LONG TIME UNCLAIMED.
ON THIS VERY NOTE; AS NO ONE HAS COME TO PUT UP ANY CLAIM REPORT TO OUR OFFICE AS REGARDS TO THE BENEFICIARY TO THE MASTERPIECE POLICYHOLDER OWNERSHIP AND THE INSURANCE ETHIC HERE IN THE UK, REGULATED BY THE FINANCIAL SERVICE AUTHORITY (FSA) RULES FOR THE CONDUCT OF UK BUSINESS, INSURANCE CODE AND BUSINESS INSURANCE CODE STANDARDS OF WHICH CHUBB INSURANCE COMPANY IS A MEMBER OF THE FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SCHEME. DOES NOT ALLOW SUCH CLAIM TO STAY FOR OVER MORE THAN MANY YEARS, BECAUSE THE COMPANY SHALL HAVE POWER AFTER TEN GOOD YEARS TO DISCONTINUE THE POLICY AND TERMINATE THE INSURED MASTERPIECE POLICYHOLDER OWNERSHIP BENEFITS.
IN VIEW OF THE AFOREMENTIONED, AFTER I WAS CONVINCED IN MY MIND THAT YOUR NAME COULD BE USED AS THE BENEFICIARY TO THIS MASTERPIECE POLICY HOLDER OWNERSHIP CLAIM.THE NEED FOR A FOREIGNER AS THE BENEFICIARY TO CLAIM THE MASTER PIECE POLICY HOLDER OWNERSHIP IS OCCASIONED BY THE FACT THAT THE [CLIENT] MASTERPIECE POLICY HOLDER OWNERSHIP WAS A FOREIGNER AND AS A STAFF OF THE COMPANY I CANNOT STAND AS THE BENEFICIARY TO A FOREIGNER IN THIS CLAIM.
I THEREFORE PROPOSE THAT 40% OF THIS ABOVE FUND WILL BE FOR YOU AS A FOREIGN PARTICIPANT IN RESPECT OF YOUR INVOLVEMENT, COMPLIANCE AND FULL CO-OPERATION TOWARDS THE SUCCESSFUL CLAIMANT, WHILE 5% WILL BE FOR ANY EXPENSES THAT MIGHT BE INCURRED IN THE PROCESS OF PROCURING SATISFACTORY PROOF DOCUMENTS TO BE ISSUED ON YOUR NAME LEGALLY FOR BACK-UP TO ENABLE CHUBB INSURANCE COMPANY OF EUROPE S.E PAY THE LUMP SUMS AND ALLOWANCE BENEFITS AS SET OUT UNDER THE CHUBB PERSONAL INSURANCE CASH ACCUMULATION MASTERPIECE POLICY HOLDER OWNERSHIP SCALE OF COMPENSATION AND THE REST FUND WILL BE FOR ME. THEREAFTER, I WILL VISIT YOUR COUNTRY FOR DISBURSEMENT OF FUND AS I AM ALMOST DUE FOR RETIREMENT.UPON THE RECEIPT OF YOUR POSITIVE REPLY, I WILL THEN INFORM YOU THE NEXT STEP TO TAKE.
I WILL NOT FAIL TO BRING TO YOUR GOOD NOTICE THAT THIS DEAL IS 100% HITCH FREE, AS THE WHOLE REQUIRED ARRANGEMENT HAS BEEN SKILLFULLY PERFECTED FOR THE MASTERPIECE POLICY HOLDER OWNERSHIP CLAIM.
MY HIGHEST CONSIDERATIONS AND REGARDS AS I AWAIT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
ANDREW A. MCELWEE, JR.
DIRECT TEL: +44-702-403-5965
NOTE: IF YOU ARE FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO REACH ME VIA EMAIL, PLEASE ENDEAVOR TO CALL ME ON MY DIRECT 24 HOURS TELEPHONE NUMBER: +44-702-403-5965 AND I WILL RESPOND TO YOU IMMEDIATELY.