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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447011163740 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mercedes Benz" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:11:32 +0100
Subject: Mercedes benz Test Questions & Answers
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Dear Sir/Madam,In a bid to ease the living conditions of our fans/customers all over the world in this dark period of economic crunch Where many companies are closing and families have lost their homes and means of livelihood.
Mercedes-Benz.de in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz.co.uk sends you this mail with the aim of giving you the opportunity of becoming a proud beneficiary of the 2010 charity promotions with a cash sum of 850,000:00GBP (Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds ) by being part of our online quiz competition.
If you have never had a Mercedes-Benz,this is your chance to benefit from our company while if you have had any of our products this is your opportunity of enjoying some of our benefits apart from the comfortability and efficiency of our products.Just answer the simple questions asked below.
MERCEDES-BENZ TEST QUESTIONS
1, Which of these is manufactured by
(A), X5 (B), SLR MCLAREN (C), Z4
2, Emil Jellinek named a special car made for him after the name of
his 10 year old daughter, what was her name?
(A), FIONA (B), BENZ (C), MERCEDES
3, Name two cars that Mercedes-Benz Manufactured.
(A), X5 & E-CLASS (B), Z4 & K-CLASS
(C), M-CLASS & C-CLASS
There are other Mercedes-Benz cash consolation prizes for candidates who may fall short of the answers.
Send your answers along with your
name, sex, Phone Number,country and occupation to:
NAME: Mr. Wolfen Smith
Yours Sincerely,and Good Luck,
Stratford Homes (Chief Monitoring Officer)
This Promotion is endorsed and licensed by
The Mercedes-Benz Company.
Material Copyright©2010. All Rights Reserved
www.mercedes-benz.de and www.mercedes-benz.co.uk