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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "foreign service manager" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "EuroMillion Lottery" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 01:20:28 +0200
Subject: CALL DR. WILLIAMS MARCUS ON Tel:+34-672-988-039
This is to notify you that this e-mail address was entered during the Euromillion lottery selection Draw on the 7th of July 2010, and has won the sum of EUR950.000.00 (Nine Hundred And Fifty thousand Euros).
For claim please contact the below claim agency for immediate processing of your claim. Rememebr to quote these numbers below for verification by the company. REF: PP-21180-ES and BATCH: PP-245-44
you should include Your Name, Address, Sex, Age, Occupation,
Nationality, Phone Number .
Company:NATIONAL TRUST SECURITY AGENCY
Dr. Williams Marcus (Foreign Service Manager)
Mrs. Anita Carlos
Euromillion Public Relation Officer