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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million dollars" (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)
- "courier service" (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.
- +447031887443 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Alhaji Mohammade" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 03:11:03 +0800
Crystal Manufacturing Company Ltd.
I am Al-Mohamed U.A, The Director of
Crystal Manufacturing Company Ltd Gaza Palestine..
I am writing to you based on prevailing information for you, to solicit
your assistance in helping to receive some amount of money in your
country, I made this money through my own sweat, this money is my own
personal money. The reason why I want to send this money out of this
country is because of war between my country Gaza, and Isreal. Formally
the money was in a citizen bank here in GAZA.
But during the war i managed to move the money from the bank to a
security company close to Lebanon border and up till now things have not
normalized and no business as we are resentfully returning back to our
country and connote leave comfortable again in this Country, Then i
decided to move this money out to your country for investment and in
searching for a reliable person in your country a friend of mine here told
me about you that you are reliable and trustworthy, Now i have decided to
send the money into your care in your country for investment, The total
amount is US$15.3 million dollars only.
I have finalized the whole necessary arrangement on how to send this
money out of this country to your country through a Diplomatic means by a
courier service company, if you are interested to do business with me then
get back to me and i will give you fut her details and modalities and we
will discuss terms of the investment.
Please, don't contact me through fax because we are no more in the
factory. We are still running for our lives, nothing like business in my
country for now, you can only contact me through email.or with this
telephone numbers,cos since after that war me and my family relocate to
LONDON for safety..
TEL: +447031887443 or +447031808621
Director Crystal manufacturing Company Ltd GAZA PALESTRIN