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.
- 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.
- 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, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Roger Nathaniel" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 10:50:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Your Official Information. 1st July, 2010.
My name is Mr. Roger Nathaniel of the International Monetary Fund investigation unit. We received a letter in our office here in London UK today the 1ST of JULY, 2010 requesting that your unclaimed fund be paid to Janet Williams.
In the said letter of change of beneficiary/ownership, representatives of Janet Williams states that you are dead and as such your Fund/Estate should be paid to her as the next of kin to you.
Because of the elaborate global scam, we decided to contact you for confirmation. If after seven working days, no response is received from you, it will be assumed that you are dead and as such authorization and approval will be granted on behalf of Janet Williams to claim/receive your fund.
Confirm this letter and reconfirm your Information and how you want your fund paid to you without further delay if you are still alive. Send your responce to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can Fax it to Fax No: +44 844 774 2427.
Below is the information you are expected to re-confirm.
1. Full Name:___________________
4. Age:_____ Date of Birth:__________
7. State of Origin:_____Country:_____
8. Driver's lincence:________________
9. Copy Of Your Identity:____________
Please feel free to call for clearification regarding this matter: +44 701 116 4684.
Mr. Roger Nathaniel
International Monetary Fund investigation unit.
Call: +44 701 116 4684
FAX: +44 844 774 2427