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.
- +447024058779 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: william Wilcox <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 18:35:18 +0200
My name is Mr William Wilcox , I work with the Euro Lottery,i am soliciting
your assistance for a swift transfer of 4,528,000 GBP, should you be willing to
assist me in this project? you will be giving me just 40% of your winnings,
Just as a brief,you just have to register online.
due to my position in the company I can make it happen that you would be a
winner of the above stated amount. Naturally, every body would like to play a
lottery if they are assured of winning.
I am assuring you today to be a winner, please do not take for granted this
once in a life time opportunity as we both stand to collectively gain from this
at the success of the transaction.
Should you be willing to assist me in this transaction please do respond to e-
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