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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- +447045733682 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jimmy Cole" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 13:27:23 -0000
Subject: From. Mr Jimmy Cole (REPLY)
I KNOW THIS WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW ME.
I AM MR.JIMMY COLE; I WORK IN A BANK IN LONDON, PACKAGING AND COURIER DEPARTMENT.
PLEASE,I NEED YOUR FINANCIAL AND MORAL SUPPORT TO CLEAR THIS PACKAGE
THAT IS ALREADY IN THE USA WHICH I SHIPPED THROUGH OUR BANK ACCREDITED
COURIER AGENT BUT THE CONTENTS OF THE PACKAGE IS $8.4M ALL IN $100.00 BILLS, BUT
THE COURIER COMPANY DOES NOT KNOW THE REAL CONTENT WAS MONEY.
ALL I WANT YOU TO DO FOR ME NOW IS FILL THE INFORMATIONS BELOW
AND GET BACK TO ME,FOR YOUR HELP AM READY TO GIVE YOU 30% OF THE MONEY,
PLEASE,MY IDENTITY MUST NOT BE REVEALD TO ANYBODY.
 Full Names:
 Contact address:
 Direct Telephone No:/ FAX
 Date of birth:
COMMUNICATION SHOULD BE STRICTLY THROUGH MY PRIVATE E-MAIL AND PHONE
NUMBER FOR SECURITY REASONS +447045733682
MR JIMMY COLE
NOTE:THIS IS GOING TO COST YOU SOME MONEY WHICH I DON;T KNOW FOR NOW UNTIL
YOU INDICATE YOUR INTEREST TO HELP,I WILL BE WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY TODAY ALSO
A PHONE CALL.