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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- +447024087599 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "MICROSOFT AWARD DEPARTMENT" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 18:24:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE WON
Dear: e-Mail Winner,
The WINDOWS LIVE & MICROSOFT WINDOWS has set out and successfully organized a
Sweepstakes marking the beginning of year anniversary.
We rolled out over 10,000.000.00 (10 million e-mails) to mark the 2010
Anniversary Draws.Participants for the draws were randomly selected and drawn
from a wide range of web hosts which we enjoy their BETA patronage attaching
personalized email addresses to TICKET No:20511465463-7644.which subsequently
won you £250,000.00 pounds as one of the 10 jackpot winners in this
draw.contact our fiduciary agent below
Mr James Mark
Telephone: +447024087599 +447031950652 +447024066883
Provide him with the information below:
Yours in service,
The Award Team